U.K. stocks finished down slightly Wednesday, with the blue-chip index edging back from a five-week high. Equities didn’t make big moves after a monthly update on U.K. jobs and wages. The FTSE 100 index UKX, -0.05% fell less than 0.1% to close at 7,496.51, after swinging between gains and losses. On Tuesday, the index rose 0.6% to mark its highest close since Nov. 8 and a third straight win. It’s showing a year-to-date gain of 5%. The pound bought $1.3364, up modestly from $1.3317 in New York late Tuesday. In the fixed-income market, the 10-year gilt yield TMBMKGB-10Y, -0.51% recently was up by 2 basis points to 1.238%, according to Tradeweb. Yields rise when prices fall. The Office for National Statistics said wage growth both including and excluding bonuses rose in October, with basic earnings growth of 2.5% above the 2.4% expected in a FactSet consensus survey. But wages are still lagging inflation. On Tuesday, the ONS said annual consumer price inflation hit 3.1% in November, as rising airfares helped push the rate its highest level since March 2012. Traders will assess today’s U.K. data in the light of the Bank of England’s minutes and monetary policy decision, scheduled for release on Thursday.
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