* Midcap stocks break losing run
* Vivo Energy surges on buyout deal
* FTSE 100 up 0.3%, FTSE 250 adds 0.5%
Nov 25 (Reuters) - The UK's blue-chip index crept higher for
a fourth session on Thursday as gains in consumer stocks offset
losses stemming from ex-dividend trading, while pub group
Mitchells rose after its sales surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
The export-heavy FTSE 100 gained 0.3%, with large
dollar earners including Diageo, Unilever,
British American Tobacco, Reckitt Benckiser
boosted by a weaker pound.
However, further gains were checked by declines in Vodafone
as it traded without entitlement for dividend.
Mitchells & Butlers rose 3.6% after jumping as much
as 7.7% earlier. The company said that sales in recent weeks
have been higher than before the pandemic, but warned of
challenges ahead due to rising costs for staff and utilities.
"Cost inflation is another big pressure on the business, and
Mitchells & Butlers could find it hard to pass this on to the
customer in the form of higher prices," said Russ Mould,
investment director at AJ Bell.
An industry group warned on Wednesday that Britain could
face a shortage of alcohol this Christmas unless the government
steps up its efforts to address a lack of heavy goods vehicle
Investors will look for hints about the Bank of England's
rate hike plans in December, with Governor Andrew Bailey set to
speak later in the day on Thursday.
UK midcap stocks rose 0.5% after a four-session
losing run, with Vivo Energy surging 18.5% on news that
commodities trader Vitol will buy the company in a deal valued
at roughly $2.3 billion.
Hochschild Mining jumped 14.3% after it said its
key mines in Peru would continue to operate after the South
American country allowed miners to seek extensions for mines.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing
by Shailesh Kuber, William Maclean)