(For a live blog on European stocks, type LIVE/ in an Eikon
* Report says U.S. mulling fast-tracking potential vaccine
* Financial, industrial stocks boost mid-cap index
* Bunzl rises on resuming dividends
* Wetherspoons slips as sales still down; calls for more VAT
* FTSE 100 gains 1.7%, FTSE 250 up 0.6%
Aug 24 (Reuters) - The FTSE 100 jumped on Monday after U.S.
health regulators authorised a COVID-19 treatment over the
weekend, while AstraZeneca boosted the index on a report the
U.S. government was considering fast-tracking its experimental
The British drugmaker gained 2.1% as the report said
one option being explored would involve the U.S. health
regulator awarding "emergency use authorisation" in October to
the potential vaccine.
The export-laden FTSE 100 was up 1.7%, capping its
best session in 12 days, while the mid-cap FTSE 250 rose
0.6%, led by financials and industrials.
"These are typical August markets where you don't have a lot
that's driving them up except the absence of bad news," said
Michael Hewson, a market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 has bounced from its March lows but
lagged the U.S. benchmark S&P 500, which is scaling
record highs on fiscal and monetary stimulus and hopes that the
worst of the pandemic's economic damage is over.
On Sunday, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration said it
authorised the use of blood plasma from patients who had
recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment for the disease.
"If last week was beset by the economic realities of the
COVID-19 pandemic, then Monday is starting out with a
(temporary) cure for those concerns," said financial analyst
Connor Campbell at spreadbetters Spreadex.
The focus will turn to U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome
Powell's address at the Kansas City Fed's annual conference on
Thursday for any hints as to the central bank's efforts to
revamp its approach to monetary policy.
Bunzl Plc gained 2.8% after resuming dividends,
while pub operator J D Wetherspoon fell 3% as its sales
were still down sharply year-on-year despite the government's
subsidised meal scheme and calls for tax relief for the
hospitality sector to be extended.
(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Shreyashi Sanyal in
Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Ken Ferris)