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* FTSE reaches 2-week high
* Taylor Wimpey surges on special dividend announcement
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, May 17 Britain’s top equity index rose
to a two-week high on Tuesday, lifted by gains in major mining
stocks while housebuilder Taylor Wimpey also surged after
announcing a special dividend payout.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.9 percent at
6,206.95 points in early session trading, its highest level
since the start of May.
The FTSE held on to those levels after the publication of
data showing that British inflation slipped in April for the
first time since September last year.
Taylor Wimpey was among the best-performing stocks, rising
6.1 percent after the company promised investors a larger payout
than previously expected, underpinned by strong demand for
property in Britain.
“Taylor Wimpey is clearly confident in its prospects given
its very positive upgrade to financial targets and its
dividend,” said Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves
Rival housebuilding stocks also advanced, with Berkeley
gaining 4.4 percent while Barratt Developments
advanced 2.9 percent.
Miners were also in demand following a rally in metals
prices, with Anglo American climbing 3.4 percent while
Glencore rose 3.1 percent.
The FTSE remains down around 1 percent so far in 2016, and
is 13 percent below its April 2015 record high, with world stock
markets having lost ground since then due to concerns of a
slowdown in China, the world’s second-biggest economy.
Traders added that uncertainty ahead of next month’s
referendum on whether Britain should stay in the European Union
was also curbing the near-term progress of the FTSE.
“I wouldn’t be inclined to buy into the FTSE, this side of
the referendum,” said Horizon Stockbroking director Kyri
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA.
(Editing by Catherine Evans)