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FTSE 100 Inches Higher On Earnings

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(RTTNews) – U.K. stocks edged higher on Wednesday as investors cheered a batch of positive earnings updates.

The benchmark FTSE 100 edged up 16 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,960 after losing 0.3 percent the previous day.

Lloyds Banking Group surged 4.1 percent after reporting a better-than-expected profit and raising full-year profitability guidance.

Persimmon advanced 1.5 percent. The housebuilder said it was experiencing good demand for newly built homes across the U.K.

Grafton soared 8.3 percent. The builders merchant and DIY retailer said it expects adjusted operating profit for the current financial year to be between 15 and 20 percent ahead of consensus forecasts.

Advertising group WPP rallied 3.5 percent after it reported a surprise return to comparable net sales growth for the first quarter of 2021.

Lysol maker Reckitt Benckiser Group dropped 1.3 percent despite the company reporting a higher than expected jump in quarterly sales and backing its full-year outlook.

In economic releases, U.K. shop prices continued to decline in April, data from the British Retail Consortium showed.

The shop price index dropped 1.3 percent year-on-year in April, following a 2.4 percent decrease in March. Both food and non-food prices declined in April.