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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
June 9, 2006

Banks, miners help London markets


by Elaine Frei

In London on Friday, the FTSE 100 closed up 1.7 percent to 5,655.2, while the FTSE 250 added 2.4 percent to 9,024.7 on a volume of 2.6 billion shares traded. Despite the gains, the 100 closed out the week 1.9 percent lower overall, while the 250 lost 4.5 percent during the week.

Banks contributed to Friday’s gains, with an upgrade from “underweight” to “neutral” from Merrill Lynch, which said that with global economies growing and inflation under control, banks continued to be in a growth phase. HSBC added 1.2 percent to 934p, RBS was up 2.6 percent to £17.86, HBOS gained 3.1 percent to 965p on positive comments from Credit Suisse, and Northern Rock advanced by 3.8 percent to £10.05.

Miners also did well. Among the blue chips, Xstrata added 4.3 percent to £18.93 and Anglo American was up 4.9 percent to £19.36. Mid-caps also saw advances, as Lonmin gained 6.4 percent to £23.90, while Vedanta advanced by 7.2 percent to £12.05.

In the insurance sector, Aviva added 2.3 percent to 729½p on rumors that hedge funds were looking at the company’s shares. Meanwhile, fund manager Man Group advanced by 2.7 percent to £23.42 on an upgrade from “overweight” to “buy” from Bridgewell Securities.

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