FTSE 100 Friday close: Financials drag index back

9th August 2013

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The FTSE 100 index of the UK top firms closed 53.71 points or 1 per cent higher at 6583.39 on Friday but was down by 1 per cent over a mixed trading week.

Financials were among the week’s fallers with banking giant HSBC, off 6 per cent at 709.8p, after disappointing City forecasts despite delivering profits 10 per cent up on 12 months earlier at £9.2billion.

Elsewhere Royal Bank of Scotland, after naming its new chief executive Ross McEwan last week, managed a 1 per cent gain to 325.6p while Lloyds Banking Group, still on a run managed a 2 per cent rise over the week to 75.11p.

Barclays under pressure from campaigners, including Olympic gold winner Mo Farah, to keep open cash transfer businesses to poorer countries put on 1 per cent to close at 287.1p. Asian focused bank Standard Chartered, firmed 3 per cent to 1,587p after reporting a fall in profits after it wrote off £650m, from its Korean arm.

Insurer Standard Life slid 6 per cent to 365p after its half-year figures failed to reach expectations while its competitor Aviva was one of the week’s top two risers, 7 per cent stronger at 402p after it doubled its pre-tax profit to £605m in the six months ending June 30.

The other top gainer was Scottish based power company Aggreko, which secured a deal with West African state Guinea. It also soared 7 per cent to 1,704p.

There was a topsy-turvy pattern among the asset managers, as Schroders dropped 4 per cent over the week to 2,410p. The firm endured outflows following the departure of its equities head Richard Buxton who joined Old Mutual which is up by 4 per cent to 202.3p.

The miners continued their recent recovery, buoyed by a more positive news-flow from China, such as new figures showing a 9.7 per cent rise in the factory output from the world’s second largest economy.

Over the week, Anglo American added 6 per cent to 1,542.5p, while Antofagasta firmed 5 per cent to 942p and Rio Tinto closed 4 per cent better at 3,167.5p.

Next week sees insurer Prudential, Imperial Tobacco and Glencore Xstrata update the market.

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