FTSE 100 posts best session in over 4 mths on defensive, energy boost



(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

* Victrex jumps on strong results

* Deliveroo slides on EU gig economy rules

* FTSE 100 up 1.7%, FTSE 250 adds 1.1% (Updates to close)

By Unknown 81653c1b-391d-4f57-a18b-a96546dc667c

Dec 6 (Reuters) - UK's FTSE 100 ended higher on Monday, posting its best session in over four months as defensive sectors and energy shares led gains, while Deliveroo fell on concerns about a European Union ruling on gig workers.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE ended 1.7% higher at 7,232.28, its best session since July 21.

Defensive sectors such as consumer staples and healthcare tend to be less sensitive to the economic climate than some other groups. British American Tobacco BATS.L , Reckitt Benckiser RKT.L and Unilever ULVR.L gained nearly 2% and were among the biggest boosts.

Most sectors ended in positive territory as sentiment steadied after a volatile start to December that was dominated by fears around the Omicron coronavirus variant and an increasingly hawkish outlook by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

A health official in South Africa said early observations of children sick with COVID-19 in the country that has been driven by the Omicron variant showed mild infections.

"Today is a kind of double bullish whammy," said Stuart Cole, head macroeconomist at Equiti Capital. "You've got stocks that are cheap to buy, and you've got a reason to buy them in that as some of the fear that was around last week seems to have been taken away."

Deliveroo ROO.L ended 3.2% down after hitting a record low earlier in the session. European peers Just Eat Takeaway TKWY.AS and Delivery Hero DHER.DE also fell about 5% each on fears of the European Commission's proposal concerning employment rights and the status of gig economy workers hitting the profitability of these companies.

Oil majors BP BP.L and Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L added almost 2% each as crude prices jumped on hopes that the Omicron variant would have a less damaging economic impact if its symptoms proved mostly mild.

Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent said that inflation in Britain might "comfortably exceed" 5% in April and that the country's tight labour market risked becoming a more persistent source of inflation.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index .FTMC advanced 1.1%, with chemicals company Victrex PLC VCTX.L adding 4.3% after reporting a 46% rise in its pre-tax profit.

Chemicals firm Synthomer Plc SYNTS.L declined 14.1% after a downgrade and price target cut by Morgan Stanley.



Commodity stocks lift FTSE 100 Link



Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Amal S in Bengaluru;
Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Uttaresh.V and Ramakrishnan M.




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