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FTSE wobbles on Europe growth fears
by Caelainn Barr on Feb 24, 2012 at 09:40
Britain’s FTSE wobbled on Friday morning, struggling to track gains made in the US and Asia overnight.
The FTSE 100 inched ahead 0.07%, or four points, to 5,942 and the Mid-250 index took on 0.19%, or 21 points, to 11,527.
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) shed 1p, or 2.7%, to 35.5p after making a £3.5 billion loss in 2011. In a move to mollify public anger over bankers' bonuses, the bank revealed that it cut bonuses by 30%, paying out £375 million. The 40% government-owned bank expects 2012 revenues to decline, and has cut its return on equity target.
See the FTSE’s performance and the index’s top winners and losers.
Asia rallies on strong US figures
Overnight markets in Asia made gains following positive unemployment and housing figures from the US, which suggest that the world’s biggest economy could have a firm footing on the road to recovery.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 inched up 0.54% to 9,647, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.12% to 21,407, and China’s Shanghai Composite index increased 1.24% to 2,440.
In Europe markets opened to track the positive performance, though they were held back following comments from Olli Rehn, European commissioner for finance, that eurozone growth would contract by 0.3% in 2012.
Michael Hewson, senior market analyst at CMC Markets, said: ‘The fact that the EU had to change [its] growth predictions only four months after the last amendment shows how difficult growth projections can be, and as such highlights how unrealistic Greece’s predicted growth targets in relation the latest bailout for the next eight years are. If the EU can’t predict six months in advance, what chance eight years?’
Stock markets in Europe made cautious gains: Germany’s DAX index rose 0.58% to 6,849, France's CAC 40 index added 0.22% to 3,455, and the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares increased 0.21% to 1,077.
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