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LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Trims Weekly Loss As Banks, Resources Gain

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Resource firms and banks led the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index higher on Friday, as investors remained optimistic about the future of monetary policy in the U.S. after Federal Reserve Chairwoman nominee Janet Yellen defended quantitative easing. The benchmark index climbed 0.4% to 6,693.36, trimming its weekly loss to 0.2%. The gain was a continuation of advances seen in global stock markets on Thursday, after Yellen at her confirmation hearing at the Senate Banking Committee said the benefits of Fed stimulus outweigh the costs and that the central bank will maintain its asset-purchase program until the U.S. economy is stronger. She also eased concerns that bubbles are forming in the equity markets. Investors have worried that some recent upbeat economic data would bring forward the timing of tapering the bank's asset purchases, but the remarks from Yellen calmed fears of an imminent reduction in bond buys. The biggest gainers on Friday were in sectors that are sensitive to monetary easing and typically rise when investors are willing to take on more risk. Among banks, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) put on 1.1%, and HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) gained 0.3%. In the resource sector, oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) climbed 1.5%, BP PLC (BP) gained 0.8%, and BG Group PLC added 0.6%. Oil prices were slightly higher. Among miners, Anglo American PLC added 1.4%, BHP Billiton PLC (BHP) rose 1.4%, and Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) picked up 0.5%. Metals prices, however, were lower across the board. Bucking the positive trend in the mining sector, shares of Vedanta Resources PLC slid 6.8% after the company said it swung to a first-half loss due to lower commodity prices and a continued ban on iron ore mining in two key Indian states, as well as due to foreign exchange losses and higher net interest expenses. Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

Stock News for Bp (BP)
DateTimeHeadline
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01/26/201513:45:46BP Freezes Pay in 2015 as Part of Cost-Cutting Plan
01/22/201518:11:19Ex-BP Executive Named Apache CFO -- Update
01/20/201517:20:44Judge May Allow BP to Pay Deepwater Fines Over Time--Update
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01/19/201513:08:06LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stocks Log Third Straight Session Of Gains
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01/18/201515:39:28Anadarko to Fight Oil-Spill Fine
01/18/201515:08:38Low Oil Prices to Play Into BP Fine
01/16/201512:25:56LONDON MARKETS: Resource Firms Lift FTSE To Erase Potential Weekly...
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01/16/201509:49:07RWE to Complete Dea Sale by March -- Update
01/16/201504:09:11LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Faces Third Straight Week Of Losses
01/16/201501:50:48Oil Stable in Asian Trade but Speedy Rebound Unlikely

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