Miners, Ashtead support UK shares; AstraZeneca gains

Credit: REUTERS/PETER NICHOLLS

London's FTSE 100 edged higher on Tuesday with tool hire firm Ashtead gaining after an upbeat earnings report and miners boosted by a rise in copper prices driven by expectations of a global shortfall in production.

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FTSE 100 up 0.1%, FTSE 250 down 0.2%

AstraZeneca biggest boost to FTSE 100

Ashtead rises after annual results

Focus shifting to Fed policy meeting

June 18 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 edged higher on Tuesday with tool hire firm Ashtead gaining after an upbeat earnings report and miners boosted by a rise in copper prices driven by expectations of a global shortfall in production.

The miner-heavy main index was up 0.1% while the FTSE 250 midcap index .FTMC lost 0.2% by 0708 GMT.

Ashtead AHT.L rose nearly 3%, topping the FTSE 100 leader-board, while miners .FTNMX1770 were up 1% as a key mine in Chile halved output due to a strike.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca AZN.L was the biggest boost to the FTSE 100 with a 1.1% rise after its cancer medicine Lynparza was approved as a first-line maintenance treatment for a type of advanced ovarian cancer by the European Commission. Rival GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L also climbed.

Market focus is gradually shifting to a two-day meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, with market pricing showing investors expect Wednesday's policy statement to open the way to a cut in interest rates by the central bank next month.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

((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))

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