The UK benchmark index has climbed into positive territory this Friday, finding support in a weaker pound following the latest British growth data. Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) meanwhile has tumbled to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leaderboard despite reporting a rise in profits for the first three months of the year.
FTSE 100 gains ground
As of 14:32 BST, Britain’s blue-chip index had added 56.06 points to stand 0.76 percent higher at 7,477.49. The Footsie has advanced this Friday, boosted by a drop in the pound, with sterling reacting to worse-than-expected gross domestic product data. A weaker pound fuels demand for FTSE 100 stocks with international exposure.
“Gains in the second half of the week are making up for losses in the first,” Joshua Mahoney, market analyst at IG, commented in a note. “A weak pound has been helping this index push higher, and as long as we remain above 7334, further upside is likely and sell-offs are there to be bought into.”
RBS shares head south
RBS has been one of today’s most notable movers, giving up 2.02 percent to 266.90p despite that its operating profit before tax had jumped 70.1 percent year-on-year to £1.21 billion. Investors, however, remain focused on the bank’s looming settlement with the US over mis-sold mortgage-backed securities.
“In particular, the negative and deteriorating net promoter scores in NatWest branded business banking […] look awful,” Jefferies analyst Joseph Dickerson further noted, as quoted by Reuters.
Shares in peers Barclays (LON:BARC) and Lloyds (LON:LLOY) are also trading in the red, having each given up about 0.45 percent.
The FTSE 100 index was 0.85 percent up at 7,484.85 points as of 12:51 BST on Friday, April 27.