FTSE 100 Friday close: Market falls on developing market worries

24th January 2014

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The UK’s blue-chip index took a tumble over the past week as lacklustre trading and emerging market woes weighed on markets writes Philip Scott.

The FTSE 100 closed on Friday at 6,663.74 – 109.54 points, or nearly 2% down on the day and more than 2% off over the week.

The Argentinian peso endured its steepest nosedive in a decade on Thursday after its central bank decided to scale back its policy of supporting the peso in a bid to protect the nation’s foreign exchange reserves, which have collapsed by a reported third over the last 12 months.

The move hit other Latin American markets and analysts now forecast inflation will spike in Argentina and fears of a recession will grow.

The decision impacted specialist emerging markets fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management, which suffered the steepest fall on the leader board over the trading week, dropping 10% to 397.3p

Financial Times owner Pearson, slipped 9% over the week to close at 1,171p, after the media corporation issued a profit warning.

In a statement, issued on Thursday, the group said: “Pearson faced tough market conditions throughout 2013 as cyclical, policy-related and structural pressures affected our education publishing and assessment businesses in North America and the UK, our two largest markets.”

It is expected to announce a profit in February of £856m before restructuring charges, 5% down on the previous year.

Also down over the week are insurer Prudential, 8% lower at 1,262p, Mondi also 8% off at 936p while Petrofac loosened by 7%, closing at 1,169p.

The majority taxpayer owned Royal Bank of Scotland, currently in the spotlight in regards to its staff bonuses and the subject of an independent report on how it dealt with small businesses slid 7% over the week to 339.7p.

Its competitors did not fare much better with HSBC down 5% at 645.9p, Standard Chartered 2% off at 1,309.5p and Lloyds Banking Group slid 3% to 81.36p.

Barclays, whose boss Antony Jenkins this week warned that another financial crisis will happen, fell 6% off at 272.25p.

Precious metal miners enjoyed a better week, aided by an uptick in the price of silver and gold, with Fresnillo up by 8% at 792p and Randgold Resources ahead by 7%, closing at 4,233p.

Stock and unit trust broker Hargreaves Lansdown, which this week unveiled its new customer pricing structure firmed 4% to 1,509p while Primark owner Associated British Foods also gained 4% to 2.744p. Imperial Tobacco put on 2%% at 2,262p while fashion retailer Next added 2% to 6,280p.

Next week among others drinks giant Diageo, BSkyB and Royal Dutch Shell bring their latest business updates to the market.

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