- US authorises Iraq airstrikes
- Fighting resumes in Gaza
- Banks, supermarkets, precious metals limit losses
techMARK 2,694.22 -0.58%
FTSE 100 6,567.36 -0.45%
FTSE 250 15,243.38 +0.02%
UK stocks had pared earlier losses by the close of trading although risk-averse traders remained on the sidelines in light of the heightened geopolitical tensions across the globe.
The FTSE 100, which closed Thursday at a four-month low of 6,597.37, traded down by another 0.45% to 6,567.36 at the end of trading, after bouncing back from an intraday low of 6,528.73.
To take note of, the Footsie is again threatening to move below its 200-day moving average.
Decent gains from financial and banking stocks helped limit the overall decline in London, while rising gold and silver prices helped support shares
of precious metal miners.
Nevertheless, the news that the US has authorised airstrikes against Islamist militants in northern Iraq continued to weigh on market sentiment, even as ongoing concerns about the Ukraine crisis rumbled on in the background.
US President Barack Obama said that America could not turn a "blind eye" to what he called a "potential act of genocide" of the Yazidi people, as he announced targeted strikes on Islamic State fighters.
Brent crude futures ended the session around 0.6% lower at $104.86 a barrel after the authorisation of airstrikes in Iraq, the second-largest OPEC producer.
It remains to be seen whether they are correct but some observers have mused aloud recently that the lack of upward pressure on the oil price
may indicate that markets are sanguine about the long-term impact of recent geopolitical tensions on the oil market.
Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes in Gaza resumed on Friday morning, ending a three-day ceasefire, while Palestinian forces renewed rocket attacks. Militant group Hamas has said that Israel failed to meet its demands.
Schroders and Royal Mail lead gains
Shares in Schroders fell on Friday after the boss of sector peer Aberdeen said that investors were too bullish on UK fund managers. Aberdeen's chief executive Martin Gilbert was quoted as saying that the industry "has over-promised and under-delivered".
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has decided to shut down its turnaround division, with the two most senior currently in charge of the department set to leave the bank, Reuters reported on Friday.
Postal group Royal Mail was in demand as the stock attempts to rebound from its recent losses - even including Friday's bounce, the shares are down 25% so far in 2014. The company was making headlines on reports that it has cut collection times at post boxes.
Miner Fresnillo was another high riser as gold and silver prices gained on the back of safe-haven demand. African Barrick Gold was also in demand, while Randgold Resources outperformed the wider market to trade flat.
Catlin Group's shares jumped on Friday after the insurance company was given a 'buy' rating by analysts at Espirito Santo Investment Bank Research following strong first half results. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated an 'overweight' rating while Numis gave it an 'add' rating.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,084.00p +3.24%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,012.00p +3.21%
Royal Mail (RMG) 426.50p +3.02%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 345.60p +2.43%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 887.50p +1.95%
Glencore (GLEN) 365.00p +1.87%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,434.00p +1.70%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,551.00p +1.47%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 169.60p +1.37%
Tesco (TSCO) 247.00p +1.31%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Schroders (SDR) 2,213.00p -2.68%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,248.00p -2.50%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 710.00p -2.41%
BG Group (BG.) 1,154.50p -2.33%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 191.90p -2.07%
BT Group (BT.A) 371.40p -2.03%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,686.00p -1.97%
Aviva (AV.) 492.80p -1.93%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,109.50p -1.90%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 2,199.00p -1.70%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,195.00p +5.78%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,088.00p +5.53%
Catlin Group Ltd. (CGL) 507.00p +4.26%
AO World (AO.) 200.00p +4.11%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 313.30p +3.71%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 192.50p +3.49%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 376.00p +3.15%
Laird (LRD) 292.00p +2.96%
Hellermanntyton Group (HTY) 304.70p +2.87%
Rank Group (RNK) 165.40p +2.67%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 320.40p -4.93%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 114.00p -2.90%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 115.20p -2.70%
Henderson Group (HGG) 222.60p -2.37%
Premier Oil (PMO) 311.20p -2.26%
Man Group (EMG) 109.80p -2.23%
Cobham (COB) 289.50p -2.10%
Pace (PIC) 305.70p -1.99%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 186.50p -1.95%
IP Group (IPO) 177.50p -1.93%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Ricardo (RCDO) 625.00p +3.31%
Kofax Limited (DI) (KFX) 464.25p +3.28%
KCOM Group (KCOM) 100.75p +2.03%
Promethean World (PRW) 29.12p +1.30%
Optos (OPTS) 197.00p +0.90%
SDL (SDL) 337.50p +0.75%
E2V Technologies (E2V) 154.00p +0.65%
Skyepharma (SKP) 236.00p +0.32%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 231.75p +0.22%
Sepura (SEPU) 143.25p +0.17%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Puricore (PURI) 33.50p -7.59%
Triad Group (TRD) 9.50p -5.00%
Filtronic (FTC) 25.00p -2.91%
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (BVC) 16.50p -2.22%
NCC Group (NCC) 204.50p -1.92%
Vectura Group (VEC) 132.75p -1.67%
Innovation Group (TIG) 31.50p -1.56%
Sarossa (SARS) 1.70p -1.45%
Anite (AIE) 90.50p -1.09%
RM (RM.) 162.38p -0.99%