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FTSE climbs ahead of Sino-U.S. trade deal

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01/14/2020 | 12:00pm EST
A broker looks at financial information on computer screens on the IG Index the trading floor

London's main index ended a choppy Tuesday session with slight gains, as investors looked towards the signing of the Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal, while betting firms lost ground after Britain banned consumers from using credit cards to gamble.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.1% higher. The FTSE 250 rose 0.2%, driven by a 9.2% jump in miniature wargame maker Games Workshop after reporting record profit and sales.

Ahead of the interim trade deal on Wednesday, a source said China would ramp up purchases of cars, aircraft and energy supplies from the United States. Separately, Washington said Beijing should no longer be designated a currency manipulator.

"A little bit of risk-off across the board ... as investors look towards next steps in terms of U.S.-China trade. There's no one catalyst apart from general profit-taking ahead of the start of earnings season in the U.S.," CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said.

Homebuilder Taylor Wimpey was the second-best performer on the FTSE 100, rising 4% after a trading update showed that its order book surged 22% in 2019, aided by the government's Help to Buy scheme.

Meanwhile, gambling firms Flutter Entertainment and William Hill gave up 1.2% and 2.5%, respectively, on Britain's new rule designed to prevent consumers from building up too much debt.

Other industry players GVC and 888 recouped earlier losses to end marginally higher.

Shares of Elementis slid 14.7% to the bottom of the midcaps after the speciality chemicals company warned of a lower 2019 profit. The stock recorded its steepest one-day fall since mid-2015.

Another significant faller was gold miner Centamin, which lost 7% on its worst day since early December after Canadian company Endeavour Mining scrapped plans to take over the London group.

AIM-listed online fashion retailer Boohoo advanced 5% to a record high after reporting robust performance in its Christmas trading period and hiking its full-year forecast.

"Boohoo continues to defy the broader gloom on the High Street thanks to its appeal among younger shoppers, its tight marketing and laser focus around celebs and social media," Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson said.

(Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber; Anil D'Silva and Alison Williams)

By Shashwat Awasthi and Muvija M

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
888 HOLDINGS PLC -4.20% 141.8 Delayed Quote.-10.55%
BOOHOO GROUP PLC -0.99% 311 Delayed Quote.5.44%
CENTAMIN PLC -2.00% 127.4 Delayed Quote.2.36%
CMC MARKETS PLC 2.62% 164.6 Delayed Quote.9.41%
ELEMENTIS PLC -2.22% 132 Delayed Quote.-24.58%
ENDEAVOUR MINING CORPORATION -0.27% 25.39 Delayed Quote.3.38%
FLUTTER ENTERTAINMENT PLC -0.14% 105.65 Delayed Quote.-2.54%
FTSE 100 INDEX 0.28% 7234.11 End-of-day quote.0.00%
GAMES WORKSHOP GROUP PLC 0.22% 6775 Delayed Quote.11.47%
GVC HOLDINGS PLC -2.50% 888 Delayed Quote.3.01%
TAYLOR WIMPEY 1.16% 218.9 Delayed Quote.11.89%
WILLIAM HILL -0.45% 176.2 Delayed Quote.-6.08%
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