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FTSE 100 LIVE: Asian shares rise – investors hopeful following US technology breakthrough

On Wall Street, both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq boasted record closing highs, with gains of 0.75 percent and 1.39 percent respectively.

The technology sector lead the way, with Apple rising just under 4 percent to take its value to almost $ 2.3 trillion.

The rise comes following a media report that the company had asked suppliers to make at least 75 million 5G iPhones for later this year.

US manufacturing indicators showed expansion, with the reading from the Institute for Supply Management hitting its highest level in nearly two years.

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8.40am update: European shares open higher

European shares opened higher on Wednesday after losing for four straight sessions, with media and entertainment stocks bouncing back from steep losses in the prior session.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.1 percent in early trade, after losing more than 2 percent over the past four sessions.

Media stocks surged about 1.6 percent after closing at a more than three-week low in the prior session.

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Data showed that German retail sales fell unexpectedly in July, indicating that household spending in Europe’s largest economy was still on the lam from the coronavirus. But German stocks rose more than 1 percent.

7.35am update: UK house prices leap to new high in August

British house prices surged in August to hit an all-time high, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Wednesday, adding to signs of a sharp rebound in the country’s housing market after the coronavirus lockdown.

Prices jumped by 2 percent from July, the biggest month-on-month increase since 2004 and far outstripping the median forecast for an increase of 0.5 percent in a Reuters poll of economists.

Nationwide said prices were 3.7 percent higher than a year earlier.

The Reuters poll had pointed to a 2 percent annual increase.

“House prices have now reversed the losses recorded in May and June and are at a new all-time high,” Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said.

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