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FTSE 100 Edges Higher As Travel Stocks Climb

U.K. stocks were moving higher on Friday, with airlines and hotel groups leading advances after the travel industry asked the government to ease travel restrictions. The announcement on easing of rules are expected later in the day.

Investors shrugged off data showing that U.K. retail sales declined for the fourth straight month in August.

Retail sales including auto fuel dropped unexpectedly by 0.9 percent month-on-month after declining 2.8 percent in July, the Office for National Statistics said. Sales were forecast to climb 0.5 percent.

On a yearly basis, retail sales remained flat versus July's 1.9 percent increase and the expected growth of 2.5 percent.

The benchmark FTSE 100 edged up 0.1 percent to 7,036 after closing 0.2 percent higher in the previous session.

British-Airways-owner IAG surged as much as 4.3 percent and InterContinental Hotels rallied 2.1 percent amid hopes for an easing of travel restrictions.

Shares of Accsys Technologies soared 4 percent after the wood building products maker reported strong sales and revenue growth for the five months.

Mining giant Anglo American slumped 4 percent, BHP fell over 2 percent and Rio Tinto dropped 2.6 percent as iron ore prices crashed on concerns over weaker demand.

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