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FTSE 100 Struggles For Direction

U.K. stocks struggled for direction on Thursday and the pound edged higher versus the euro as investors await the ECB rate decision later in the day.

The benchmark FTSE 100 was marginally higher at 7,004 after gaining 1.7 percent on Wednesday.

Housebuilder Barratt Developments surged 2.6 percent and Taylor Wimpey added 2.3 percent after data released earlier this week showed U.K. house sales hit record levels in June.

Premier Inn owner Whitbread advanced 2.8 percent and transport firm FirstGroup soared 4 percent on expectations they will reap the benefits of reopening.

Real estate investment trust Workspace Group gained 2.4 percent after saying it was witnessing demand at pre-pandemic levels.

British Gas owner Centrica dropped 1.4 percent after it reported broadly flat operating profit for the first six months of 2021.

Consumer goods group Unilever plunged almost 5 percent after it announced a drop in first-half profits on rising costs.

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