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FTSE 100 Inches Higher Ahead Of Fed Statement

U.K. stocks eked out modest gains on Thursday to extend gains from the previous session, as the U.S. election uncertainty faded in the rear-view mirror, Chinese trade data topped forecasts and investors turned their attention to a monetary policy announcement from the Federal Reserve, due later in the day.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 21 points or 0.29 percent at 7,138 in opening deals after gaining 1.1 percent in the previous session.

BHP Billiton shares rose nearly 1 percent. Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive Officer of the mining giant, said that the firm is on track to build on success this financial year and beyond.

Drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals jumped 7 percent after raising full-year revenue expectations for its injectables division.

Likewise, AstraZeneca rallied 2 percent after backing its full-year outlook.

Inmarsat slumped 6.5 percent. The mobile satellite company has reported a drop in revenue in its major Maritime division.

Supermarket chain J Sainsbury dropped half a percent after reporting a 40 percent fall in pre-tax profit for the first half.

Luxury fashion house Burberry Group gained 0.6 percent. The company backed its full-year guidance after reporting a 36 percent rise in pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2019.

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