London stocks gain on upbeat retail sales, oil boost


London shares rose on Friday as a sharp rebound in retail sales in May bolstered hopes of a swift economic recovery from a pandemic-driven slump, while energy shares tracked a gain in oil prices.

The FTSE 100 .FTSE was up 0.5% and on course to rise for the fourth week in five as optimism around the revival in business activity overshadowed concerns of further lockdowns following a surge in infections in the United States and China.

Data on Friday showed retail sales volumes in May surged by a record 12% amid an easing in the nationwide shutdown imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 .FTMC added 0.2%, with auto .FTNMX3350, banking .FTNMX8350 and food and beverage .FTNMX3530 stocks leading gains.

BP Plc (BP.L) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) were among the biggest boosts to the FTSE 100 as oil prices rose on a pledge by OPEC and allies to meet their supply cut commitments.