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London stocks edge higher after mixed jobs report

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(Reuters) -London stocks rose on Tuesday, led by advances in the personal goods sector, while tightness in the labour market and strong wage growth had investors on edge about interest rate cuts.

The benchmark index FTSE 100 was up 0.2% after snapping a six-session winning streak on Monday. The midcap FTSE 250 index ended 0.3% higher.

The personal goods sector climbed 2.0% to lead gains on the index, while medical equipment and services followed with a 1.1% rise.

The energy sector fell 1.0%, the most among sectors, mirroring weakness in oil prices. [O/R]

Meanwhile, data showed on Tuesday that British wages grew more than expected, but other figures suggested the labour market was losing some of its inflationary heat, pushing money market participants to remain split on June rate cut bets.

“Markets seem to be a little bit subdued… it seems to have digested slightly stronger than expected wage growth relatively well. It maybe focusing a little bit more on the inflation data in the next few days,” said Richard Flax, chief investment officer at Moneyfarm.

Investor focus will now shift to a key inflation reading in the United States, due on Wednesday, to gauge the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy path.

“We have U.S. CPI tomorrow and investors may be just looking at whether the macro environment really could improve from here,” Flax added.

In corporate news, Vodafone rose 4.7% after the telecom operator met market forecasts for the year to end-March.

Flutter Entertainment lost 1.9% after the largest online betting company reported its first quarter results.

Anglo American tumbled 3.2% to the bottom of the index, after Reuters reported company is exploring an initial public offering of its diamond business De Beers, amid urging from BHP Group’s boss to consider takeover benefits.

(Reporting by Pranav Kashyap, Shubham Batra and Purvi Agarwal in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala, Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Josie Kao)

By Pranav Kashyap and Purvi Agarwal

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