Fri City brief: Weak manufacturing data weighs

Impressive first-quarter figures from Lloyds pushed the market higher, as investors shrugged off weaker economic data.

The FTSE 100 finished 25.32 points higher (+0.36%) at 6,985.95, after clawing back earlier losses which sent it to an intraday low of 6,919.39.

London was helped by stronger afternoon trade on Wall Street but sluggish UK manufacturing figures for April surprised analysts as the rate of growth was at its lowest since September 2014.

Lloyds shares jumped more than 7% after the bank delivered a bigger-than-forecast 21% increase in underlying profits in the first quarter as impairment charges more than halved. The UK lender also lifted its net interest margin guidance for the full year and improved its capital position.

However, other financials were providing a drag, such as Aberdeen Asset Management, Hargreaves Lansdown and 3i Group.

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