FTSE 100 up 0.2 percent
LONDON: Gains in HSBC and energy stocks kept Britain’s top share index in positive ground for a third day on Friday, offsetting weaker defensives, while British Airways rose after agreeing a merger with Iberia.
By 1204 GMT the FTSE 100 was up 10.82 points at 5,287.32 points, a day after closing at a three-week high. It is on track for its highest close since September 2008. The index is up 2.7 percent this week and has rebounded 53 percent since hitting a six-year trough in March. Heavyweight bank HSBC, up 1.3 percent. Other banks were weaker. Barclays fell 0.3 percent while Lloyds Banking Group and Standard Chartered fell 0.2 and 0.4 percent, respectively. British Airways climbed 1.6 percent. Energy firms were mostly stronger, as crude prices edged up above $77 a barrel. BG Group, Tullow Oil and BP added 0.7-1.8 and 0.2 percent, respectively, but Royal Dutch Shell shed 0.7 percent. Miners were also under pressure. Kazakhmys, Antofagasta, Eurasian Natural Resources and Xstrata were off between 1.5 and 2.1 percent. Among individual stocks, the world’s biggest drinks can maker, Rexam, slipped 3.2 percent. reuters