FTSE 100 Friday close: Market edges higher as US gets back to business

25th October 2013

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UK shares enjoyed another positive week as the agreement to re-open the US Government boosted sentiment but the news on Friday that the British economy had gathered further momentum in the third quarter, failed to add much of a week end rally writes Philip Scott.

According to the Office for National Statistics, UK GDP grew by 0.8% during the June to September period, with “fairly strong” performance across all sectors. The latest figure builds on the 0.7% economic rise between April and June, and is the best quarterly performance since 2010

The FTSE 100 closed on Friday at 6,721.34, just 8.16 points up on the day but some 1.5% better over the week.

Taking the benchmark higher was Aberdeen Asset Management, soaring by 11% to 459.1p after it confirmed it was in talks to purchase Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, potentially making it the biggest UK listed fund manager.

Also enjoying a week of gains was drug maker Shire, 9% better at 2,776p. The firm posted a robust set of third quarter figure showing the net income had risen more than 22% to £278m.

The market welcomed changes at troubled security group G4S, 7% stronger at 258.5p after the world’s biggest security firm parted company with its UK chief executive Richard Morris.

For its part Rolls Royce holdings also firmed 7% to 1,171p, while Reckitt Benckiser lifted 6% to 4,780p.

Of the blue-chip benchmark’s banking constituents Lloyds Banking Group, was the strongest over the trading week, closing 5% higher at 80.37p, while Standard Chartered put on 2% to 1,525.5p. Royal Bank of Scotland shed 1% to 368.4p, and HSBC was flat at 680p. But Barclays lost 4% to 267.9p, making it one of the FTSE 100’s steepest fallers over the week.

Retailers however were among the worst off over the week with Marks & Spencer down 4% at 475.8p after its women’s wear executive Ridley Whittle departed the firm. B&Q parent Kingfisher was also 4% lighter, closing at 370.1p while Sports Direct International shed 3% to finish the week at 688p.

Next week sees updates from miner Aggreko, Standard Chartered, BP and retailer Next.

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