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Britain's FTSE rises

Monday, August 18 09:52:16

UK shares advanced on Monday in a broad-based rally on traders' relief that a feared escalation in the Ukraine crisis had failed to materialise.

Tensions spiked on Friday when Ukraine said it partially destroyed an armoured column that had crossed the border from Russia, a report that triggered a sell-off in global shares.

But Moscow made no threat of retaliation, describing the report as a "fantasy". On Monday, Russia's Foreign Ministry said a "certain progress" was achieved during talks between Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine in Berlin on ways to end the conflict.

The FTSE 100, which on Friday erased earlier gains to end flat, had risen 40.18 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,729.26 points by 0810 GMT.

In a further sign of returning calm, the FTSE volatility index, a crude gauge of investor fear, shed around 15 percent, on course for its biggest one-day percentage drop this year.

Some traders maintained a cautious approach, mindful of Friday's market swing which saw a near 1 percent rise on the UK benchmark wiped out.

Charles Stanley technical analyst Bill McNamara said selling pressure was likely to kick into the FTSE 100 on any push back above 6,800.

Chip designer ARM was among the top risers, ahead 2.3 percent, as Goldman Sachs added to some recent positive broker comment on the company, which sells blueprints for chip designs and receives royalties on every chip shipped by partners.

Some strength was seen from the housebuilders, led by a 5.3 percent gain in Bovis Homes as investors welcomed its enhanced dividend policy while it posted first-half results boosted by a record number of completions.

The Thomson Reuters UK Homebuilding index jumped 7 percent last week, bolstered by weak UK wage growth data which prompted the market to push back its expectations for when the Bank of England would lift interest rates. (Reuters)

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