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Mon City brief: HSBC drives FTSE100 to new peak

HSBC led the FTSE100 to a new record today, despite nervousness surrounding the forthcoming general election.

The bank rose 3.1% following a further report at the weekend that it was considering a plan to spin-off its high street banks in Britain. There was speculation last week about the possibility that it could revive the Midland Bank name.

It is already pondering whether to retain its headquarters in London on the back of increased regulation and worries over European Union membership.

The rise in HSBC added nearly 15 points to the FTSE 100 which was up 33.28 points, or 0.5%, at 7,103.98 points by the close. The index hit a new intra-day high of 7,122.74 points.

A new poll putting the Tories ahead in the election race pulled the index back as it forced sterling higher.

Housebuilders Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments were hit by Labour Party promises to introduce rent controls, a move that could slow the building sector.



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