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FTSE 100 Rises On Economic Optimism

U.K. stocks rose on Friday amid economic optimism after data showed house prices in the country jumped at the fastest pace in 17 years.

The benchmark FTSE 100 edged up 19 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,979 after ending largely unchanged on Thursday.

AstraZeneca rallied 3.3 percent. The pharmaceutical giant said it generated $275m in revenue from its non-profit Covid-19 vaccine in the first quarter.

Hikma Pharma advanced 1.6 percent after announcing the approval of KLOXXADO nasal spray 8mg, by the FDA for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose.

Smurfit Kappa surged 4 percent. The provider of paper-based packaging solutions reported that its first-quarter underlying revenue growth was 6 percent from last year.

Lender Barclays slumped 4.8 percent despite reporting a quarterly profit that more than doubled.

In economic releases, U.K. house prices increased at the fastest pace since 2004 after the extension of the stamp duty holiday, data published by the Nationwide Building Society showed.

House prices grew 2.1 percent month-on-month in April, the biggest monthly rise since February 2004. Economists had forecast an increase of 0.5 percent after posting a 0.3 percent drop in March.

On a yearly basis, house prices inflation rose to 7.1 percent from 5.7 percent in March. The rate was expected to slow to 5 percent in April.

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