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GDP revision hints at delay to rate rise

London Stock ExchangeA downward revision to third quarter GDP helped investor appetite as it lent support to the Bank of England delaying an interest rate rise.

The final estimate of third quarter UK gross domestic product was clipped by 0.1% to an increase of 0.4% quarter-on-quarter. The Office for National Statistics also revised second quarter growth down by 0.2% to 0.5%.

The figures pointed to a slowing of growth, though analysts remained upbeat about the economy picking up.

Howard Archer of Global Insight said: “We suspect that stronger UK economic growth, a renewed pick up in earnings growth and consumer price inflation gradually trending up will prompt the MPC to act around May,” he said.

“However, the current relapse in earnings growth does increase the possibility that the Bank of England could hold off from raising interest rates until the latter months of 2016.”

Oil and gas stocks rose on the back of higher Brent crude, up 2.3% to $36.98 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate up 3.4% to $37.41 per barrel.

BG Group, Royal Dutch Shell, Tullow Oil,Nostrum Oil & Gas, Weir Group and Cairn Energy were among the top risers on the FTSE 350.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it expects oil prices to reach $70 per barrel by 2020.

Game Digital plunged after warning adjusted operating profit for the 26 weeks ending 23 January 2016 will be around £30m, down from the same period a year ago following disappointing sales since the start of school Christmas holidays.

Legal & General Group climbed as it said it has completed the UK’s largest medically-underwritten bulk annuity deal with an unnamed UK defined benefit pension scheme.

The FTSE 100 ended 2.61% higher at 6,242.

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