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Housebuilders support FTSE 100 after Berkeley earnings

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Housebuilders support FTSE 100 after Berkeley earnings
FILE PHOTO: A broker reacts on the IG Index the trading floor in London, Britain February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson   -   Copyright  SIMON DAWSON(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – London’s main bourse inched higher on Wednesday, helped by better than expected numbers from housebuilder Berkeley and a surge in Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group after it promised more savings from its buyout of Virgin Money.

The FTSE 100 index, sharply higher on Tuesday along with other European markets on the back of a strong policy speech from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, edged 0.05% higher by 0707 GMT.

The midcap FTSE 250 was up 0.1%.

Housebuilder Berkeley leapt 6%, outperforming other blue-chips, after its fall in annual earnings fell well short of the worst of market expectations. That lifted rivals Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon and Barratt by as much as 2%.

The biggest boost to the main index, however, came from oil majors and Asia-focussed financials on renewed hopes of a resolution to a long and painful U.S.-China trade war.

All eyes are now on the conclusion of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting after markets close.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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