(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* FTSE 100 up 0.7%, FTSE 250 adds 0.6%
March 26 (Reuters) - British shares rose on Friday as higher February retail sales added to global economic recovery optimism, while Smiths Group jumped after reporting better-than-expected half-year profit.
Oil heavyweights BP BP.L and Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L were also among the biggest boosts, as oil prices rose on fears that a giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal would squeeze supplies of crude and refined products. O/R
British retail sales rose in February, helped in part by consumers buying outdoor furniture ahead of a partial relaxing of coronavirus restrictions which will allow people to meet in gardens from next week. domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC climbed 0.6%, led by industrials stocks.
Smiths Group SMIN.L rose 5%, after the engineering firm issued upbeat forecast for the second half of the fiscal year and reported a better-than-expected profit. miner Kaz Minerals Plc KAZ.L gained 2.9%, after receiving a final bid worth 4.02 billion pounds ($5.53 billion) from chairman-led Nova Resources.
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