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BREAKING NEWS

FTSE rises on trade optimism, Persimmon drags on housebuilders

FTSE rises on trade optimism, Persimmon drags on housebuilders
People walk past the London Stock Exchange Group offices in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville -
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TOBY MELVILLE(Reuters)
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(Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 edged higher as banks and mining companies gained on U.S. President Trump's decision to delay raising tariffs on Chinese goods, while housebuilders fell on reports that Persimmon's government house-funding scheme was under scrutiny from the country's housing minister.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent while the FTSE 250 was down 0.3 percent. Both indexes were underperforming their European peers by 0836 GMT.

Global markets greeted with relief a declaration by U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday that he would delay an increase in tariffs on Chinese, citing "substantial progress" in trade talks.

As a result, mining shares extended their highs and Asia-exposed financial heavyweights such as Prudential Financial and Standard Chartered also advanced.

But Persimmon skidded more than 7 percent to the bottom of the index after reports that Britain's housing minister, James Brokenshire, was pressing the builder on how it operates within a public funding scheme for new house buyers.

Rival homebuilders Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley all fell.

Bunzl fell 3 percent after the company said its margins continued to be pressured by increasing costs, even as its full-year profit beat expectations.

Mid-cap miner Centamin slipped nearly 10 percent, on course for its worst day in nearly five months, as its annual gold production fell and a 2019 production forecast missed Jefferies' estimates.

Sub-prime lender Provident Financial fell 3.2 percent after rejecting an unsolicited takeover offer from its smaller rival Non-Standard Finance .

(Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)

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