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FTSE 100 Edges Higher On Earnings Optimism

U.K. stocks advanced on Thursday as a set of positive earnings updates as well as hopes of a large stimulus under incoming U.S. President Joe Biden helped outweigh concerns about rising Covid-19 infections.

The benchmark FTSE 100 rose 30 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,775 after closing 0.1 percent lower in the previous session.

Shares of Centrica rallied 2.6 percent after the energy and services company said it currently expects to report 2020 full year adjusted earnings per share from continuing and discontinued operations ahead of current market consensus.

Premier Inn-owner Whitbread jumped 3 percent. After reporting a sharp fall in total sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2021, the company said its strong balance sheet provides the opportunity to take full advantage of the enhanced structural opportunities that are already visible in the market.

Retailer Tesco gave up 1.6 percent despite posting record Christmas sales.

Similarly, fashion retailer Boohoo lost 1.5 percent despite raising its strong growth forecasts for 2021.

Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey declined 1.8 percent after reporting a fall in sales in the second quarter of the year.

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