FTSE 100 Friday close: Tapering concerns dominate

23rd August 2013

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Traders were cheered by the revised UK economic growth figures as the FTSE 100 closed 45.23 points or almost 1 per cent higher on Friday at 6,492.10 writes Philip Scott.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the UK’s economy grew by 0.7 per cent in the three months to June, an increase from the preliminary estimate of 0.6 per cent.

However Friday’s progress was not enough to push the index into positive territory over the week, which saw the blue-chip index finish essentially flat.

The week was clouded with conjecture in regards to central bank policy action, especially today as the world’s central bankers hold their annual meeting at Jackson Hole.

While Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is not present, investors and traders will be hoping for further clarification on when the US will commence tapering its massive quantitative easing programme.

Wood Group was the steepest faller over the week, down 7 per cent to 822.5p. The energy services company whose customers include the oil and gas industries reported first-half profit growth of 18.6 per cent but reduced its engineering arm’s profits forecast.

House builder Persimmon, closed at 1,133p, down 5 per cent over the week, after reporting 12 per cent growth in first-half revenues, in line with forecasts.

Plumbing giant Wolsley was the week’s big climber, rising 6 per cent to 3,354p, while retailers Marks & Spencer and Sainsburys both enjoyed a week of gains, with each rising 4 per cent to 471.6p and 398.2p respectively.

This week saw millions of consumers who were mis-sold identify theft and card insurance in line for a potential £1.3bn in compensation.

The redress package is a result of the Financial Conduct Authority’s investigation into Card Protection Plan Ltd (CPP). The City watchdog has reached an agreement with CPP and 13 high street banks and credit card issuers that will pave the way for redress to be paid to customers who were mis-sold the insurance policies. The 13 names included Lloyds and HSBC, each 2 per cent looser, at 74.79p and 694.7p respectively. Royal Bank of Scotland was flat over the week at 344.3p, as was Barclays at  286.85p.

Next week sees the arrival of market updates from security group G4S, Petrofac and Admiral.

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