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June 1, 2006

London markets advance on banks

Permalink: London markets advance on banks
by Elaine Frei

Banks helped the London equities markets higher on Thursday as the FTSE 100 added 0.45 percent to 5,749.7 and the FTSE 250 was up 0.1 percent to 9,310.4. The market was quiet on the day, with only 2.8 billion shares traded.

The mining sector was down on the day, providing the three biggest losers on the 100 as metals prices dropped. Rio Tinto lost 3.1 percent to £28.71, while Kazakhmys was down 3.3 percent to £10.98 and Xstrata closed 3.4 percent lower at £20.57.

Corus was up 1.8 percent to 398p on rumors out of Russia that the owner of Chelsea football club is seeking a minority stake in the steel company.

In the homebuilding sector, McCarthy & Stone added 2.8 percent to 787½p on rumors that the retirement home builder has received a bid worth 900p per share.

In the banking sector, Alliance & Leicester added 2.1 percent to £12.05 after Credit Agricole sold part of its stake in Greek bank Emporiki. CA said recently that it is thinking about bidding for A&L. Lloyds TSB was up 2.4 percent to 515½p on rumors that it might raise its dividend as soon as next year. Royal Bank of Scotland also added 2.4 percent on the day, to £17.65.



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