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FTSE firm as Barclays readies axe over 'casino'

by Gavin Lumsden on Feb 11, 2013 at 10:42

FTSE firm as Barclays readies axe over 'casino'

(Update) Just one day to go before Barclays (BARC.L) unveils its strategic review and investors remain hopeful that chief executive Anthony Jenkins will effect real change at the bank while improving profitability.

Barclays edged over 3p or 1.1% higher after weekend reports that Jenkins plans to cut 2,000, or one in 10, jobs at its 'casino' investment banking division and close a controversial tax avoidance unit. The moves should save £2 billion.

Shares in the bank have advanced 15% so far this year and are up nearly 29% over one year.

With Hong Kong, China and Japan closed for the Lunar Holiday, a lack of overnight momentum saw the FTSE 100 start quietly but soon resumed its upward drive, rising 28 points or 0.4% to 6,291.

European markets were flat with the FTSE Eurofirst 300 virtually unchanged at 1,161.

Miners led the way in London after fresh evidence on Friday of China's recovering economy buoyed the commodity stocks. Evraz (EVRE.L) jumped 11.4p or 3.9% higher to 300p and Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC.L) gained 11.3p or 3% to 388.8p. 

Tesco (TSCO.L) gained 6.4p or 1.7% to 369p after Exane BNP Paribas upgraded the supermarket group to ‘neutral’ from ‘underperform’.

Chip designer Arm Holdings (ARM.L) slipped 2.3% or 21p to 897p to be the biggest faller on the FTSE 100, with portable power plant provider Aggreko (AGGK.L) off 1.5% or 24p at £15.64.

The pound edged back on currency markets trading 0.5% down at $1.5719 against the dollar while the euro gained 0.8% to nearly 85.2p to the single currency. The yen strengthened 0.6% to 93.2 to the dollar.

Gold weakened 0.3% to $1,662 an ounce.

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