FTSE 100 Friday close: Market notches up the gains

18th October 2013

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The FTSE 100 notched up another day of gains to close on Friday at 6,622.58, 1% or 46.42 points up on the session, and 2% better over the week.

Positive numbers from China helped lift the blue-chip index on Friday, after the world’s second largest economy posted a year-on-year accelerated economic growth, of 7.8% for the three months to the end of September.

Also helping markets was the news that US politicians, despite taking it to the wire, finally agreed a deal and passed a bill agreeing to reopen government and raise the federal debt limit.

House builder Travis Perkins was among those taking the UK benchmark index higher over the week, up 7% to 1,791p, as the reinvigorated housing market continued to boost analyst sentiment. Also climbing the leader-board was insurer Prudential, 7% firmer at 1,264p while Associated British Foods was up 8% at 2,062p.

Sky Sports owner BSkyB, also enjoyed a week of gains, up 6% to 928p, after it announced that viewers had soared since the start of the football season.

The highest climber was fund and stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown, up 15% over the week to 1,137p, after it reported new business hit £1.3bn in the last quarter, more than double the same period in 2012.

Royal Mail shares, which officially started trading on Tuesday closed the week at 502.86p, now 52% higher than their original 330p.

Within the banking sector HSBC, down 2% at 679p, was hit with a $2.5bn fine by a US court, for alleged fraud in relation to its subprime business Household. The Telegraph reports that a court in Chicago said the bank must pay the record sum after losing a class action securities fraud lawsuit brought by the US lender’s former shareholder. The case predated HSBC’s acquisition of Household in 2002 and HSBC said it would challenge the court ruling and appeal.

Elsewhere in the banking sector Royal Bank of Scotland was off 1% at 372.7p while Barclays was flat at 277.85p as was Standard Chartered at 1,490.5p. while Lloyds Banking Group edged up 1% to 76.5p.

Burberry was the hardest hit among the FTSE 100 constituents over the week, off 5% at 1,527p, after the market heard that its chief executive, credited with revitalising the business, Angela Ahrendts, is to leave the firm for technology giant Apple. Despite the news some brokers remain upbeat on the luxury brand stock. Also enduring a week of falls were Rolls Royce, down 3% at 1,092p while Capita finished 4% looser at 961p.

Among others, next week sees miner BHP Billiton, British American Tobacco and WPP update the market.

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