June 20, 2018 / 8:56 AM / 3 months ago

FTSE rebounds as trade worries ease, pound weakens further

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* FTSE 100 up 1 pct, mid caps up 0.8 pct

* Brexit talk concerns send pound to 7-month low

* Berkeley falls after warning on profit slump

* Miners provide support as metal price rise

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, June 20 (Reuters) - The UK’s top share index rose on Wednesday in a broad-based rebound in Europe as immediate worries over the impact of a trade spat between the U.S. and China eased, although Berkeley slumped after warning of a profit fall this year.

The FTSE 100 was up 1 percent at 7,681 by 0815 GMT following three straight session of losses, as the pound weakened on continued worries over Brexit talks, while the domestically focused FTSE 250 gained 0.8 percent.

“Calls for a positive start come after a turnaround in sentiment in Asia overnight thanks to investors calming their fears about the current US-China trade tariff dispute,” said Mike van Dulken and Artjom Hatsaturjants at Accendo Markets.

In Asia, equity markets bounced as bargain hunters stepped in and shares in China rose on indications of government support. In Europe, the STOXX 600 regional benchmark was up 0.6 percent.

Materials stocks were the biggest boost, adding 15 points to the FTSE, as copper prices rebounded from a three-week low. Shares in Glencore, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton rose between 1.5 and 2.7 percent.

The export-oriented index was also supported by gains in big international companies, which in turn found support in a weaker pound. Among them, Imperial Brands rose 3 percent, helped by an upbeat broker note.

Sterling slid to a fresh seven-month low against the dollar as concerns over the latest round of Brexit negotiations sapped demand for the British currency before a central bank meeting on Thursday.

Berkeley fell 4.3 percent after the London-focused house-builder said pre-tax profits would fall 30 percent this year following a better-than-expected “peak” performance in 2017/18.

“We remain impressed by the resilience of Berkeley’s profits in spite of a slower London market. However, we do take the guidance of fading returns seriously and therefore see the shares close fair value,” Liberum analyst Charlie Campbell said.

Ocado was the biggest FTSE gainer, up 5.4 percent, underpinned by a price target upgrade from Peel Hunt which said the online grocer had potential to become a “standard” platform for retail logistics across all sectors. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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