(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* Sainsbury surges on raising full-year forecast
* Mining stocks rise the most on FTSE 100
* Ryanair slashes annual traffic forecast
* FTSE 100 up 0.2%, FTSE 250 adds 0.2% (Updates to market close, adds analyst comments)
By Shashank Nayar and Shivani Kumaresan
Jan 7 (Reuters) - Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended higher on Thursday as investors bet on a bigger U.S. stimulus package under a Democrat administration, while retailer Sainsbury jumped after raising its profit outlook.
Shares in the supermarket owner jumped 6.9% after it raised its full-year profit forecast as it benefited from COVID-19 restrictions that forced people to stay at home. stocks including Rio Tinto plc RIO.L , CRH Plc CRH.L and Anglo American (JO: AMSJ ) Plc AAL.L added between 2.7% and 3.6%.
The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 .FTMC gained 0.2%.
"This is a kind of consolidation day today after a 4% move yesterday and a lot of people are focused on the U.S. right now," said Keith Temperton, a sales trader at Forte Securities.
"There is encouragement in terms of the outlook for the market."
Hours after hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, a shaken Congress formally certified Democrat Joe Biden's election victory. equity markets gained in anticipation of big borrowing and big spending under a Biden administration that would help support economic growth at a time when the coronavirus crisis continues to ravage several businesses globally. MKTS/GLOB
Surging coronavirus cases and fears of a new wave of corporate bankruptcies have ratcheted up concerns around the economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 4,000 financial firms in Britain are at "heightened risk" of collapsing due to fallout from the first wave of the pandemic, the Financial Conduct Authority said. shares in Europe's largest low-cost carrier, Ryanair RYA.L , dropped 1.0% after it slashed its annual traffic forecast due to new lockdowns in Britain and Ireland. retailer Joules JOUL.L dropped 5.5% after reporting a plunge in total store sales in a seven-week period that included the Christmas holiday season.
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