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FTSE 100 Inches Lower In Cautious Trade

U.K. shares were modestly lower on Thursday as optimism over the trade talks between the U.S. and China faded and investors closely watched Brexit developments.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has just three days to come up with a new plan if she loses the Brexit vote on January 15.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was down 21 points or 0.30 percent at 6,885 in opening deals after closing 0.7 percent higher in the previous session.

Resource stocks were moving lower, with miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore declining between 0.6 percent and 1.4 percent.

Energy firms BP Plc and Tullow Oil slid around half a percent as oil prices retraced from their highs, snapping an eight-day rally.

Marks & Spencer rose over 2 percent after backing its full-year guidance.

Debenhams slumped 8.5 percent after it reported a sharp fall in sales during the crucial Christmas trading period.

Tesco climbed 2.2 percent. The company said that its like-for-like sales in the U.K. & ROI business including Booker grew by 1.9 percent in the third quarter and 2.6 percent in the six-week Christmas period.

Premier Oil jumped 4 percent. In its trading and operations update ahead of its 2018 results, the company said its production was 7 percent ahead of last year at 80.5 kboepd.

Bicycles-to-car parts retailer Halfords Group plunged 19 percent after a profit warning.

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