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FTSE 100 Rises On China Data

U.K. stocks advanced on Friday after new data showed China's economy expanded at its fastest pace on record in the first quarter, adding to investor optimism over economic recovery.

The benchmark FTSE 100 rose 38 points, or half a percent, to 7,022, climbing above the 7,000-mark for the first time since the pandemic pummeled financial markets last year.

Miners Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta rose 1-2 percent while oil & gas firm BP Plc gained 0.8 percent.

Online supermarket Ocado Group advanced 1.5 percent. The company announced that it has commercially partnered with Oxford -based autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica Ltd to develop a range of vehicles that will be integrated into the Ocado smart platform.

Essentra also gained 1.5 percent after reporting first quarter trading in line with expectations.

Ashmore Group was little changed after its assets under management declined 3 percent in the quarter ended 31 March 2021 from the previous quarter.

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