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FTSE100 heading higher but RBS weighs

Britain's blue chips are sailing forth on Friday, keeping above the 6,000 level despite results from RBS attempting to rock the boat...
RBS shares are down over 8%....

Britain's blue chips are sailing forth on Friday, keeping above  the 6,000 level despite results from RBS (LON:RBS)  attempting to rock the boat.

FTSE100 is up 1.22%, or around 73 points at the open, at  6,086.

A rebound in oil overnight has helped to drive risk sentiment with crude back above $35 per barrel.

Asian markets also moved into positive territory ahead of this weekend’s G20 meeting in Shanghai, where the attention is likely to be fixed on China and its stalling economy.

RBS, the beleaguered tax payer owned bank, was under the cosh again, as it posted its eighth consecutive annual loss, coming in at  £1.98bn for 2015.

To blame in part is  the eyewatering figure of £3.6bn it has set aside for litigation costs, including £600mln to cover claims for the mis-sale of PPI.

RBS shares plunged 8.24% in  early deals  to stand at 223.2p.

A gainer on the day was Capita, up 2.65% to 1,044p after it rebounded from yesterday's falls when the outsourcer  posted a lower estimate of new work it was bidding for this year.

Lloyds (LON:LLOY) was up 1.94% to 71.99p after a huge share rise of 13% yesterday, despite it posting a 36% decline in full-year profit after taking a £4 billion charge for wrongly sold payment protection insurance.

In small caps, Petroceltic (LON:PCI) sank over 43% to 10.25p as it emerged largest shareholder Worldview had put in a low-ball takeover offer of just £6.4mln.

At just 3p per share the offer is some 83% lower than Petroceltic’s closing price on Thursday.

The bid was ‘deeply insulting’ to many of the AIM quoted company’s shareholders, according to City broker Cenkos.

Shares in Patagonia Gold (LON:PGD) added over 11% to 2.50p as it said it expects to start production from its Cap-Oeste deposit in Argentina by the autumn.

By then, mining at its Lomada mine in Argentina will have halted after exhausting the commercially available resource.


London’s blue-chip equities are expected to make a steady and positive start to Friday’s trading.

Oil prices, back above $35 per barrel, gave some support while Asian markets also moved into plus territory ahead of this weekend’s G20 meeting in Shanghai.

Attention will likely be on China and the recent stalling of its economy, and already reports coming from the summit have focussed on comments that the world’s second largest economy is on a sound footing and that the authorities continue to make efforts towards economic reforms.

This morning, the Shanghai Composite index rose nearly 1% to 2,767. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.6% and Japan’s Nikkei added 0.3%.

In the oil market, Brent crude is up about 2% to around $35.10 amid reports that OPEC will meet in March and production cuts will be up for discussion. US crude futures, meanwhile, rose 2.6% to $33 per barrel.

Wall Street closed Thursday positively. The Dow Jones ended some 212 point, 1.3%,higher at 16,697 while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained 1.13% and 0.87% respectively.

In London, the FTSE 100 is seen some 40 points higher with CFD and spreadbetting group IG Markets calling the blue-chip benchmark at 6,051 to 6,056.


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