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FTSE 100 Edges Higher On Earnings Optimism

U.K. stocks rose on Thursday, with dovish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve and positive company results helping underpin investor sentiment.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was up 43 points, or 0.6 percent, at 7,007 after rising 0.3 percent in the previous session.

Unilever shares jumped more than 3 percent. The consumer goods giant announced a share buyback program after posting better-than-expected quarterly sales.

Royal Dutch Shell added 1.5 percent. The Anglo-Dutch company raised its dividend after profit rose more than expected in the first quarter.

Standard Chartered surged 5.4 percent after its first-quarter pre-tax profit beat consensus estimate.

Weir Group added 1.5 percent. The engineering company expects to deliver growth in full year constant currency profits in line with current market expectations.

Telecommunications company BT Group rallied 2.4 percent after saying it is in early talks with a number of select strategic partners, to explore ways to generate investment, strengthen sports business.

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