Vodafone leads FTSE 100 higher

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(Close): Vodafone shares climbed 5.7% after the mobile operator increased its core earnings forecast, helped by better demand in European markets.

It now predicts full-year core earnings of £11.6bn-£11.9bn, compared with a previous estimate of £11.4bn-£11.9bn.

Vodafone also announced plans to launch UK broadband and TV services next year.

At the close of trade, the FTSE 100 was up 11.8 points at 6,623.05. Earlier the index had hit 6,632.57, its highest level for six weeks.

Shares in Tullow Oil fell more than 5%, hit in part by a bank cutting the firm's share price target, and in part by the falling price of Brent Crude, which hit a new four-year low, dropping below $81 a barrel.

Land Securities rose 2.3% after the property developer said its half-year net asset value had risen 20% from a year earlier.

In the FTSE 250, shares in engineering company Renishaw jumped 9.9% after it predicted big rises in revenues and profits.

Strong demand means it now expects full-year revenues to rise by 20-25%, and adjusted pre-tax profit to be 35-50% higher.

Taylor Wimpey shares climbed 4.7% after the housebuilder upgraded its guidance for operating margin growth.

"The UK housing market continues to grow, with demand at a healthy level and customer confidence good," the company said.

On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.23% against the dollar to $1.5878 but was fractionally lower against the euro at €1.2753.