London stocks rose in early trade on Friday following the release of encouraging UK retail sales data.
At 0840, the FTSE 100 was up 0.9% at 6,732.19 as figures from the Office for National Statistics showed retail sales recovered partly in February following a big fall at the start of the third national lockdown in January.
Retail sales rose 2.1% on the month in February, in line with consensus expectations and compared to an 8.2% slump the month before. Nevertheless, sales were still down 3.7% compared to February last year, before the coronavirus pandemic hit. This compares to a 5.9% slid in January and expectations for a 3.5% decline.
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