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FTSE steadies near 3-week high

Friday, August 22 09:30:16

Britain's top share index steadied on Friday, with investors trading cautiously ahead of a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that could provide hints about the timing of a U.S. rate hike.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was unchanged at 6,778.93 points by 0811 GMT after touching a three-week high. The UK market will be closed on Monday for a public holiday. The U.S. S&P 500 ended at a record high on Thursday after positive data including existing home sales jumping to a 10-month high and initial jobless claims dropping sharply. Analysts said markets were broadly expecting Yellen to remain fairly dovish in Friday's speech to the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Any shift away from that stance could hurt market sentiment.

The FTSE 100 index has gained 1.3 percent so far this week and is for its second positive week in a row. But it is up just 0.4 percent so far this year.

Among individual movers, London Stock Exchange Group fell 0.8 percent after saying it would raise 938 million pounds ($1.6 billion) to part-fund the acquisition of Frank Russell Company. (Reuters)

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