Business

FTSE 100 boosted by financial stocks

London stock brokers (file photo) Image copyright AFP

(Close): The London market has ended the week on an upbeat note, with financial stocks leading the way.

After dropping 1.8% on Thursday, the FTSE 100 rose 103.09 points or 1.71% on Friday to 6,139.79.

For the second day in a row, insurance firm Aviva was the top riser on the index, climbing 6.35%, after posting strong results.

Bank stocks also did well as investors digested the implications of the latest stimulus moves from the ECB.

Plans by the European Central Bank to provide ultra-cheap loans to banks lifted the sector. Barclays rose 3.8% and Standard Chartered added 4.3%.

Mining shares had risen in early trade on gains in commodity prices, but the sector then lost ground and shares in Anglo American were down 0.5%.

Shares in financial services group Old Mutual rose 3% at first after the company announced plans to split itself into four units, but then dropped back to stand 1.78% lower.

High Street retailer Marks and Spencer was the biggest faller on Friday with shares down 2% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut its rating to "underperform" from "neutral".

On the currency markets, the pound edged up 1% against the dollar to $1.4427, and also rose 1% against the euro to €1.2902.