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FTSE 100 Modestly Higher As Vote Opens In Tory Leadership Contest

U.K. stocks were modestly higher on Thursday and the pound slipped as investors kept a close eye on a leadership contest in Britain that may lead to a disorderly departure from the European Union.

The 10 candidates running to replace Britain's outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May are facing the first round of voting today.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 27 points or 0.36 percent at 7,393 in opening deals after declining 0.4 percent on Wednesday.

Vodafone shares rose over 1 percent. Vodafone Germany has spent €1.88bn on radio spectrum in the country to roll out its 5G mobile network.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets advanced 1.5 percent. The company said it was expanding its collaboration with e-Commerce giant Amazon to many more cities across the U.K.

Packaging products maker DS Smith jumped 5 percent after reporting a strong set of annual results.

Tesco added 0.8 percent despite the company reporting a sharp slowdown in underlying sales growth in its first quarter.

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