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FTSE 100 turns higher, as home builders get a boost

U.K. stocks rose Wednesday, coming back from a drop at the
market open, as upbeat price data helped lift home builder
shares and investors focused on the runup to the U.K. general

The FTSE 100 index

UKX, +0.13%

 turned up 0.2% to 7,541.11. In the red were the basic
materials, consumer goods and technology groups, while the
financial, consumer services, industrial, and oil and gas
sectors were rising.

The London benchmark closed with losses on the first two days
of the week, in the runup to three key events Thursday: The
U.K. general election, the European Central Bank meeting and
testimony by former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director
James Comey.

Read: Draghi’s ECB may take ‘baby steps’ toward
ending ultraloose monetary policy

“Markets will probably focus on how big of a majority Theresa
May will manage to secure [in the U.K. vote], if the ECB will
drop aspects of its dovish forward guidance, and on whether
Comey will confirm that Trump attempted to influence an FBI
investigation,” said Charalambos Pissouros, senior analyst at
IronFX, in a note..

“Without anything notable on the agenda today, we think that
investors could keep their gaze locked on these major events,”
he said.

See: U.K. election — the worst, best and most
likely scenarios for stocks worldwide

And check out: Watch for a shake-up among U.K. stocks after
Thursday’s election

The pound

GBPUSD, -0.1471%

 was buying $1.2906 compared with $1.2912 late Tuesday
in New York.

Stock movers: Home builder shares were higher
after an update on U.K. house prices from Halifax. Prices in
the three months to May were 3.3% higher than a year earlier,
compared with a FactSet estimate of a 3% gain. Prices were down
0.2% on the preceding quarter.

Shares of Taylor Wimpey PLC

TW., +1.34%

 picked up 1.7%, Persimmon PLC

PSN, +1.49%

  rose 1.5%, and Barratt Developments

BDEV, +0.86%

 added 1%.

Commodity moves: Shares in energy companies
held to gains even as oil prices


LCOQ7, -0.86%

 turned lower by about 0.6%. BP PLC

BP., +0.46%

 was up 0.6%, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC

RDSB, +0.47%

 picked up 0.7%.

Investors were watching developments in Iran, where
gunmen stormed the parliament in Tehran and started shooting at
guards on Wednesday, according to media reports citing Iran’s
state media.

In the mining group, Anglo American PLC

AAL, +1.53%

 turned up by 1.1%. The company said Stuart Chambers will succeed John Parker as
its chairman

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