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* FTSE 100 up 0.1 pct
* Miners down on firmer dollar
By Kit Rees
LONDON, Aug 22 British shares edged higher on
Monday, led by a rise in housebuilding stocks, with gains capped
by a fall in the mining sector.
The blue chip FTSE 100 index advanced 0.1 percent to
6865.87 points by 0906 GMT, having posted its steepest weekly
loss since mid-June on Friday.
The index lagged its European peers after a fall in the
mining sector, which extended losses to trade 2.9
percent lower on the back of a resurgent dollar, which makes
dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for holders of
The dollar has gained on increased bets that U.S. Federal
Reserve could raise interest rates before the end of this year,
following hawkish comments from Fed officials ahead of this
week’s global gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole.
The strong dollar hit the price of gold in particular,
pushing it down to two-week lows and weighing on shares of
precious metals miners Fresnillo and Randgold Resources
, which dropped 6.1 percent and 5 percent respectively.
Likewise, mid-cap Hochschild fell 6.7 percent.
UK housebuilders Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments and Berkeley Group were the top gainers, up
between 1.5 to 2.4 percent.
They fell heavily following the UK’s vote to leave the
European Union in June. They have since risen off 2016 lows but
have yet to break above their pre-Brexit levels.
“On the one hand you’ve got the possibility of an economic
downturn, but equally you’ve got really low mortgage rates, and
you also have a very large imbalance in the supply and demand of
housing … and that’s going to help support property prices,”
Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said. (Reporting by Kit Rees; editing by John Stonestreet)