UK's FTSE rises as property market pick-up lifts sentiment

LONDON Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:07am EDT

LONDON Aug 13 (Reuters) - Gains in healthcare group GlaxoSmithKline and further signs of a pick-up in the UK housing sector nudged Britain's benchmark equity index higher on Tuesday.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was up by 0.2 percent, or 15.42 points, at 6,589.76 points in late session trade.

The FTSE 100 raced to a 13-year high of 6,875.62 points in late May before slipping back from those peaks, although the index remains up by 12 percent since the start of 2013.

Signs of a gradual recovery in the UK economy have buoyed investor sentiment, and traders said an industry survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) showing that UK house prices were rising at their fastest pace in seven years had given a further boost for the UK stock market on Tuesday.

"The return to credit-led growth could be sustained with bank balance sheets now in reasonable shape and significant spare capacity in labour and product markets preventing a surge in inflation," said Trevor Greetham, director of asset allocation at Fidelity Worldwide Investment.

Glaxo, one of the UK's biggest stocks by market capitalisation, rose 0.7 percent to add the most points to the FTSE 100 after winning U.S. regulatory approval for a drug to treat the most common strain of HIV, the virus that causes the AIDS disease. (Additional reporting by David Brett; editing by Stephen Nisbet)

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