At midday on Friday the FTSE 100 was up 35 points to 5172. The index was pushed higher by gains...
At midday on Friday the FTSE 100 was up 35 points to 5172. The index was pushed higher by gains from banks and financial stocks, which offset a dismal day on Wall Street on Thursday.
The banking sector attracted support with investors confident that cost cuts will improve profits. Lloyds added 2% to 739p in the wake of news it's cutting 3,000 jobs to reduce expenses. Royal Bank of Scotland gained 2% to 1,866p while HBOS advanced 3% to 769p.
Tech stocks Sage and Arm sandwiched the gainers and losers table – while Sage sat happy at the top with a gain of 7% to 215, Arm dragged behind with a decline of 3% to 262p.
Vodafone rallied 2% to 113p, rebounding from yesterday's three and a half year low. Anxiety is running high about the outlook for cellular companies' earnings and increased competition.
BT gained 2% to 262p boosted by a Merrill Lynch upgrade from near-term neutral to near term buy.
In the US on Thursday markets tumbled following news that General Electric's profit fell for the first time in more than seven years. To worsen matters IBM is thought to be being questioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 26.78 to 1103.69. The Dow Jones dropped 205.65 to 10,176.08 while the Nasdaq lost 41.83 to 1725.24.
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