January 22, 2020 / 8:24 AM / a month ago

Housebuilders lead FTSE 100 bounce; China virus fears ease

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* FTSE 100 up 0.2%, FTSE 250 down 0.1%

* Berkeley leads housebuilders higher

* Burberry, Antofagasta trail main index

Jan 22 (Reuters) - London’s FTSE 100 rebounded on Wednesday, as housebuilders advanced after Berkeley hiked its planned shareholder returns and worries over the spread of a new coronavirus in China eased.

The main index bounced back from its worst day in two weeks to add 0.2%. Berkeley jumped 5% to a record high, while peers Persimmon and Barratt added 1.5% each.

The FTSE 250 edged 0.1% lower by 0812 GMT.

The death toll from coronavirus, which is being likened to the 2002/2003 spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), rose to nine, but many markets held firm as Chinese authorities ramped up efforts to control the outbreak.

Lagging the blue-chip bourse was Burberry, which slid 3% despite a bright Christmas quarter update, and miner Antofagasta that fell 2.4% after its copper production was hit by civil unrest in Chile. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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