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FTSE 100 Rises As Italy's Virus Deaths Slow For Second Day

U.K. stocks rose sharply on Tuesday as Italy reported a smaller increase in coronavirus cases for the second consecutive day and Spain imposed an Italy-style lockdown in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

In addition, the Fed's unprecedented measures to support the world's largest economy helped improve investors' appetite for riskier assets.

Meanwhile, if media reports are to be believed, U.S. Senate leaders and the
Trump administration appear closer to reaching bipartisan agreement on a stimulus bill that would inject nearly $2 trillion into the economy.

Investors shrugged off a preliminary report from IHS Markit showing that the U.K. manufacturing and services sector activities returned to contraction in March.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 179 points, or 3.58 percent, at 5,172 after tumbling 3.8 percent in the previous session.

Shares of BT Group surged over 4 percent and Computacenter jumped more than 5 percent after the companies announced that they have entered into exclusive negotiations for the sale of BT's domestic operations in France to Computacenter.

Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore rallied 5-7 percent, while oil major BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell surged as much as 15 percent.

Rio Tinto rose over 1 percent. The mining giant said it will slow down some of its operations as a result of separate actions by the Premier of Quebec and the President of South Africa to contain the spread of COVID-19.

JD Sports Fashion advanced 5.4 percent. The retailer said that all of its stores are closed in the U.K., United States and Europe due to COVID-19.

Greencore Group, a manufacturer of convenience foods in the U.K., gained 4 percent as it announced the appointment of Emma Hynes as Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer with effect from May 19.

Redrow shares rose about 1 percent. The housebuilder said it decided to cancel its 10.5 pence interim dividend, due to the ongoing uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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