Stocks

Housebuilders, packaging stocks lift UK shares

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* FTSE 100 up 0.4 pct

* FTSE 250 up 0.7 pct

* Rolls-Royce higher after rating upgrade

* Dunelm up after higher earnings (Adds inflation data, updates share moves)

Feb 13 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 rose on Wednesday aspositive results and hopes of a possible delay to exit from theEuropean Union lifted housebuilders, while packaging firms DSSmith and Smurfit Kappa were boosted by the latter's earnings.

The FTSE index .FTSE was up 0.4 percent and the midcaps .FTMC were 0.7 percent higher by 0950 GMT.

Housebuilders Persimmon PSN.L , Barratt BDEV.L and TaylorWimpey TW.L - among those most vulnerable to a no-deal Brexit- were among the biggest gainers after midcap Galliford TryGFRD.L reported higher first-half profit that topped Liberumestimates. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2082MP

Galliford led the FTSE 250 with a 5.3 percent gain, hittingits highest since end-November.

A trader also cited growing hopes that Brexit could bedelayed if a EU divorce deal agreeable by all parties is notreached by March 29.

Britain's exit from the bloc remains unclear with just oversix weeks until the deadline as Prime Minister Theresa May onTuesday asked lawmakers to give her more time to negotiate adeal acceptable to both Brussels and parliament.

Britain's economy will barely grow in the run-up to Brexitamid concerns of a no-deal, but if there is agreement there willbe a modest post-divorce upturn, according to economists polledby Reuters. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N207289

Inflation in Britain fell to a two-year low in January,dipping below the central bank's target and offering somerespite to households ahead of Brexit. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nU8N13000D

Elsewhere, Asian stocks touched a more than four-month highon optimism that the United States and China might be able tohammer out a deal to resolve their protracted trade dispute.

That lifted shares of Asia-focussed companies, with HSBCHSBA.L and luxury brand Burberry BRBY.L rising 1.1 percentand 1.7 percent, respectively.

"With the ongoing negotiations in Beijing paving the way forThursday's top tier tete-a-tete ... the pressure may have beentaken off oh so slightly following some interesting commentsfrom Donald Trump overnight," Spreadex analyst Connor Campbelsaid.

Global miners .FTNMX1770 were on course for their best dayso far this month as London copper prices were headed for theirfirst session of gain in five.

The best FTSE 100 performer was packaging group DS SmithSMDS.L which rose 4 percent as rival Smurfit KappaSKG.I said the current year had started positively after reportingstrong results. London-listed shares of Smurfit Kappa also added2.5 percent. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nS8N1XN00N

Rolls-RoyceRR.L followed with a 2.5 percent gain. It roseto a four-month high after a rating upgrade from Credit Suisse.

Tour operator TUI TUIT.L underperformed with a 3.7 percentfall, extending losses from the previous session when it posteda bigger first-quarter loss.

In a similar vein, online trading platform Plus500PLUSP.L declined 4.4 percent after losing nearly one-third in value onTuesday when it issued a profit warning.

Supporting the midcaps was DunelmDNLM.L that rose 4percent after reporting a jump in first-half earnings. (Reporting by Muvija M and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Josephine Mason and Andrew Cawthorne) ((Muvija.M@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780,outside U.S. +91 80 6749 3638; Reuters Messaging:muvija.m.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

(( For related prices, Reuters users may click on - * UK stock report .L FTSE index: 0#.FTS6 techMARK 100 index: .FTT1X FTSE futures: 0#FFI: Gilt futures: 0#FLG: Smallcap index: .FTSC FTSE 250 index: .FTMC FTSE 350 index: .FTLC Market digest: .AD.L Top 10 by vol: .AV.L Top price gainers: .NG.L Top % gainers: .PG.L Top price losers: .NL.L Top % losers: .PL.L

* For related news, click on - * UK hot stocks: [HOT and GB] Wall Street: .N Gilts report: GB/ Euro bond report GVD/EUR Pan European stock report: .EUTokyo stocks: .T HK stocks: .HK Sterling report: GBP/ Dollar report: USD/

* For company prices, click on - * Company directory: UKEQ By sector: FTAX

* For pan-European market data, click on - * European Equities speed guide................ EUR/EQUITY FTSE Eurotop 300 index........................... .FTEU3 DJ STOXX index................................... .STOXX Top 10 STOXX sectors........................ .PGL.STOXXS Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors................... .PGL.STOXXES Top 10 Eurotop 300 sectors.................. .PGL.FTEU3S Top 25 European pct gainers.................... .PG.PEUR Top 25 European pct losers..................... .PL.PEUR ))


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