Standard Life gives up early gains

Standard LifeFri close: Pensions and insurance giant Standard Life saw early gains after its operating profits were comfortably ahead of market forecasts and it hiked its dividend, though the shares slipped 1.7p at the close to 337.7p.

Hotelier Millennium & Copthorne’s shares slumped after it slashed its dividend following a disappointing end to 2015. Concerns over terrorism, health advisory travel alerts and uncertainty over growth of the Chinese market all weighed on its performance.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould. said: “Investors will be mindful that these negative factors are likely to continue this year.”

The FTSE100 recorded its best weekly performance since October, gaining more than 4% on the week, though it closed 0.4% weaker at 5,950.23 points after hitting a two-week high in the previous session.

Oil prices dropped by more than $1 a barrel as talk of a plan by some producers to freeze output levels was tempered by continued concerns of an oversupplied market after a record build in US. crude inventories.


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