UK shares rose on Thursday as markets globally rallied after two research studies showed omicron was less severe compared with the delta coronavirus variant, lifting investor sentiment.
The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 gained 0.2 percent, extending its two-day rally, while the domestically focused mid-cap index added 0.6 percent with airline stocks Wizz Air and EasyJet leading gains.
Energy and mining stocks added 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent respectively, tracking a rise in commodity prices on easing concerns about omicron and upbeat U.S. economic data.
Drug maker AstraZeneca inched up 0.3 percent after saying its COVID-19 vaccine was effective against the omicron coronavirus variant following a third dose.
Two separate studies in South Africa and London on Wednesday suggested the risk of hospitalization from the omicron variant was much less compared with the Delta variant.