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FTSE 100 heads for biggest annual gain in five years, backed by industrial stocks

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UK’s FTSE 100 was poised for its best annual performance in five years, supported by gains in commodity-linked and industrial stocks, although the benchmark fell on Friday in holiday-thinned trading.

The FTSE 100 index declined 0.4 percent by 0810 GMT, hit byconcerns around surging COVID-19 cases. The UK recorded 189,213 new infections, a daily record, and 332 deaths, government datashowed.

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Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell fell nearly 0.4 percent each, but energy stocks still eyed their best year since 2016 as crude hit 12-year highs, spurred by the global economic recovery and lower production.

Life insurance stocks fell 0.6 percent, weighing on the FTSE 100, while travel and leisure lost 1.1 percent.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 index dropped 0.2 percent, but was on track for its seventh consecutive quarter of gains.

UK markets will close at 1230 GMT on Friday for the New Year’s Eve holiday.

Read more: UK sets up ‘surge hubs’ in hospitals as omicron cases rise

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