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London close: FTSE ends lower on banks in news-rich session

By Andrew Schonberg

Date: Thursday 23 Feb 2017

London close: FTSE ends lower on banks in news-rich session

(ShareCast News) - London shares closed lower on Thursday with banks leading the drop in blue-chip stocks in a session overflowing with mostly well-received corporate news.
Among lenders down were ex-dividend HSBC, plus Standard Chartered and Royal Bank of Scotland. Other sectors lower included insurers and house builders.

Barclays fell despite its pre-tax profits almost tripling to £3.2bn in 2016, and as it announced it would close its non-core business six months earlier than previously planned. Investors appeard displeased at the cautious tone and conduct charge-littered outlook.

FTSE 100 closed down 0.42% to 7,271.37 and the FTSE 250 ended 0.18% off at 18,643.48. In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 was lower, as were the DAX and CAC 40.

"While it's been a busy day for company results and trading updates, for European benchmarks it's been a day of treading water," said Michael Hewson of CMC Markets UK.

"The FTSE 100 has been similarly lacklustre trading either side of the 7,300 level, with the UK weather getting more headlines than activity in the markets," the chief market analyst said.

Other top-100 index sectors falling included house builders, utilities and pharmas.

Glaxosmithkline and Centrica were both down on news flow, while others benefited from theirs. Intu, RSA Insurance, Glencore, Mondi, British American Tobacco and Relx all gained as traders liked their full-year results.

Vodafone rose despite its NZ-unit merger plans being denied by the country's competition watchdog.

Among resources shares, BP and Royal Dutch Shell saw modest rises with crude-oil prices soaring as data revealed a drop in US inventories last week.

Several miners were up, aided by Glencore's results-driven rise and gold's strength boosting specialists in the yellow metal. Ex-dividend Rio Tinto fell, as did airline easyJet.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the dollar was weaker, with key Wall St indices mixed, albeit barely moved.

IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp said it finally looked as if the downside was getting some traction across markets, with the FTSE 100 breaking lower and US markets posting small losses in the early part of the session.

"It is probably too early to announce the demise of the rally, but at some point something had to give, and in recent days it had become clear that the risk appetite that was so unstoppable a week ago had given way to nervous selling," he said.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,271.37 -0.42%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,643.48 -0.18%
techMARK (TASX) 3,368.37 0.35%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Intu Properties (INTU) 294.00p 6.75%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 605.00p 4.85%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,888.00p 2.78%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,595.00p 2.15%
Provident Financial (PFG) 2,891.00p 2.08%
Pearson (PSON) 646.00p 1.81%
Glencore (GLEN) 331.35p 1.72%
Carnival (CCL) 4,358.00p 1.70%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 764.00p 1.66%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,536.00p 1.65%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

easyJet (EZJ) 914.50p -6.11%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,418.00p -5.27%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 652.80p -3.96%
Centrica (CNA) 225.10p -3.68%
CRH (CRH) 2,693.00p -3.34%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 824.50p -3.11%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,269.50p -3.02%
Barclays (BARC) 229.05p -2.59%
Royal Mail (RMG) 407.30p -2.37%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,127.00p -1.98%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 319.00p 6.62%
Hays (HAS) 153.50p 4.28%
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 490.00p 4.26%
Cobham (COB) 115.80p 4.04%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 666.00p 3.82%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 166.00p 3.62%
Card Factory (CARD) 260.40p 3.29%
International Personal Finance (IPF) 191.30p 3.18%
McCarthy & Stone (MCS) 183.40p 2.46%
Allied Minds (ALM) 382.00p 2.36%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Halfords Group (HFD) 338.10p -5.24%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 165.90p -4.10%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 853.50p -4.10%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 298.50p -3.49%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 929.50p -3.48%
Hill & Smith Holdings (HILS) 1,167.00p -2.99%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 334.00p -2.82%
Evraz (EVR) 236.70p -2.71%
Rotork (ROR) 240.70p -2.23%
Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW) 439.80p -2.14%


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