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FTSE 100 Gains On Economic Optimism

U.K. stocks edged higher on Thursday after minutes of March FOMC meeting reinforced expectations that interest rates will remain low for some time amid continued uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook.

The benchmark FTSE 100 rose 15 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,900 after climbing 0.9 percent in the previous session.

AstraZeneca shares were up 1.7 percent despite reports that several European countries are considering to restrict the use of the company's Covid-19 vaccine in younger people.

Johnson Matthey shares rallied 3.3 percent. The chemicals company said it expects group operating performance for 2020/21 to be around the top end of market expectations.

Shares of online retailer ASOS fell 2.4 percent. The company has more than tripled first-half profits to a record £106m and raised full-year expectations.

Mining giant Anglo American added 1.5 percent after saying it plans to demerge its thermal coal operations in South Africa.

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