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October 20, 2006    

London markets lower on week

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by Elaine Frei

The London equities markets were mixed on Friday and closed out the week lower than they began. The FTSE 100 was 0.01 percent lower on the session and 2.1 points lower on the week to 6,155.2, while the FTSE 250 added 0.1 percent Friday but lost 43.1 points over the week to close at 10,356.5.

Banks were lower, with Lloyds TSB down 1 percent to 562½p, while Northern Rock dropped 1.2 percent to £11.76 on the news that the Office of Fair Trading has recommended that the Payment Protection Insurance market be looked at by the Competition Commission. Both Lloyds and Northern Rock make from 14 to 18 percent of their profits from PPI commissions.

Among other losers, PartyGaming was 7.2 percent lower to 29p on a disappointing trading update, while in the semiconductors sector Wolfson Microelectronics fell to 279p on a profits warning.

Ladbrokes added 2.6 percent to 401¼p and 12 million shares changed hands on rumors that a private equity group would make a bid. Still in the leisure sector, Intercontinental Hotels Group was 2.5 percent higher to 997p.

Amvescap gained 1.6 percent to 614p on positive comments from Deutsche Bank. Meanwhile, media group Pearson was up 0.9 percent to 784½p.

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