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Wed close: City awaits Osborne’s speech on banks

London equities bounced back on reports of progress in debt negotiations with Greece and ahead of the Chancellor’s eagerly awaited Mansion House speech.

George Osborne is expected to signal an end to the government’s £3.5bn-a-year bank levy, amid worries that HSBC might be tempted to move its headquarters abroad. He is also expected to signal the sale of Royal Bank of Scotland.

In corporate news, engineering company Weir Group said it expects its annual revenue, margins and profit to be weighted more towards the second half than in previous years. The FTSE 250 warned that the second six months of 2015 were proving to be very challenging for its oil and gas division, as the US rig count continues to fall, although at a somewhat more subdued rate in May.

Supermarket retailer Sainsbury’s posted a sixth straight quarter of falling underlying sales on the back of food price deflation and increased competition. The company said like-for-like retail sales for the 12 weeks to 6 June fell 2.1% against consensus calling for a 2.2% decline.

The FTSE100 ended the session 1.13% higher at 6,830.27.

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