UK stocks push back up to nine month highs

Reuters Middle East

LONDON Dec 19 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index pushed back up to nine

month highs on Wednesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street and in Asia as

growing expectations of a budget deal in the United States boosted stocks in the

run up to Christmas.

At 0808 GMT, the FTSE 100 index was up 12.00 points, or 0.2 percent,

at 5,947.90, having posted gains of 0.4 percent on Tuesday, surpassing last

week's nine-month closing peak of 5,945.85 and within 20 points of its 2012

high.

The banking sector led the gainers with the sector in the

spotlight after Swiss peer UBS agreed to a $1.5 billion bill and

admitted to fraud on Wednesday in order to settle charges of manipulating global

benchmark interest rates.

The fine, the second largest to be received by a bank, was in line with

expectations and UBS shares added 0.3 percent in Zurich.

Ex-dividend factors trimmed 0.45 points off the FTSE 100 index on Wednesday,

with Burberry and United Utilities both trading without

entitlement to their latest payouts, leading market makers to adjust their

prices.

(Reporting by Jon Hopkins; editing by Simon Jessop)

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