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FTSE 100 Inches Higher As Pound Stands Firm On Brexit Deal Worries

U.K. shares rose on Thursday as oil steadied after steep overnight losses and the dollar advanced on optimism over progress by Congress on tax legislation.

The pound was little changed after data published by mortgage lender Halifax and IHS Markit showed U.K. house prices increased more than expected in November.

On a monthly basis, house prices increased 0.5 percent, faster than the 0.3 percent rise posted in October. This was the fifth consecutive increase.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 20 points or 0.28 percent at 7,368 in late opening deals after rising 0.3 percent in the previous session.

Shares of RM Plc jumped around 15 percent after the educational ICT and resources group said it expects results for the financial year ended November 30, 2017 to be ahead of expectations.

Ladbrokes Coral shares surged nearly 25 percent after bookmaker GVC Holdings offered to buy the gambling giant for £3.9 billion ($5.2 billion).

Rolls Royce shares were slightly lower. Air New Zealand has grounded some international flights, citing problems with Rolls-Royce engines on its aircraft.

Royal Mail advanced 0.6 percent. A planned strike by the Communication Workers Union was called off after the postal service and courier company said the mediation process has helped both parties to better understand their respective positions.

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