December 7, 2017 / 10:03 AM / 9 days ago

Britain's FTSE rises for second day, led by banks as sterling slides

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* FTSE 100 up 0.3 pct

LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - UK stocks rose for a second consecutive session on Thursday, led by financials, as markets across Europe followed Asian stocks higher and the pound slid on a continuing Brexit deal impasse.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was up 0.3 percent by 0952 GMT, with telecoms and consumer staples lending their strength to pull the index up.

An agreement by U.S. Senate Republicans to pursue talks with the House of Representatives gave investors renewed hope that sweeping corporate tax cuts will come into law. These are seen are benefiting the financial sector in particular.

Prudential rose 1.3 percent, Standard Chartered 0.7 percent and Aviva 0.5 percent, while the European banking index was up 0.4 percent.

Sterling slipped 0.1 percent and was close to its lowest in a week as the clock ticked down to a weekend deadline for movement on Brexit talks without apparent progress on an Irish border dispute that is holding up negotiations.

“We remain in somewhat of a stalemate position,” wrote Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid, adding however that he believed “the prior deadline of achieving a breakthrough this week now seems more flexible”.

Pearson was the top blue-chip gainer, up 2.1 percent after JP Morgan raised its target price for the troubled company in its 2018 European media outlook.

Ladbrokes Coral jumped 24 percent as Bookmaker GVC Holdings offered to buy it for up to $5.2 billion to create an online and high-street betting giant. (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan)

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