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Fri City brief: HSBC leads market higher

HSBC was the biggest gainer after saying it may switch its headquarters overseas. Shares closed up 3% at 630.7p.

The mood spread to other banks. A spokesman from Standard Chartered said the lender was “listening very carefully” to shareholders about if it should relocate its headquarters outside the country after the latest hike in the UK’s bank levy.

After receiving some takeover interest, BAE Systems confirmed it was pondering a disposal of its US-based manpower and services businesses, which operates in the US intelligence and security sector.

Shares in publishing and education group Pearson were 46p lower at 1360p despite the company saying it was in-line to meet its full-year expectations after a solid start to the year.

Aberdeen Asset Management was downgraded by analysts at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch to ‘underperform’.

Lloyds fell 0.14% to 79.1p after the government cut its stake to below 21%.

The FTSE 100 ended the session 17.03 points higher at 7,070.70.

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