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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
04/24/201516:00:02Former BP Chief Sees Oil Price Rebound Soon
04/23/201513:02:57BP Plc 1Q 2015 -- Forecast
04/23/201512:52:33BP to Sell Interest in UK North Sea Business
04/23/201512:48:05BP to Sell 36.22% Interest in UK North Sea CATS Business for...
04/23/201512:00:02How The Majors Are Playing the Oil Price Slump
04/23/201509:27:57BP plc's Buy Rating Reaffirmed at Deutsche Bank (BP)
04/22/201508:00:0210 Most Profitable Companies in Oil
04/21/201516:51:48BP plc Upgraded to Buy at TheStreet (BP)
04/21/201513:20:16Crude Demand Continues to be Strong on Price Slump
04/21/201513:14:25Crude Demand Continues to be Strong on Price Slump -- Update
04/21/201509:56:33Traders See Continued Strong Crude Demand on Oil Price Slump
04/21/201509:34:35BP plc's Overweight Rating Reaffirmed at Barclays (BP)
04/21/201509:16:22BP plc Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Credit Suisse Group AG (BP)
04/21/201505:53:25Large Stock Builds to Keep Pressuring Oil Price - BP Chief Economist
04/20/201509:39:36Jefferies Group Reiterates "Buy" Rating for BP plc (BP)
04/20/201509:16:29BP plc Rating Reiterated by Liberum Capital (BP)
04/19/201517:04:51Rig Safety, Five Years After Gulf Spill
04/19/201515:00:11Is BP a Good Stock to Buy? Yes, but Not Because of Takeover Rumors
04/19/201510:04:0310 Largest Companies by Market Cap in Oil
04/17/201513:59:45LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Driven Lower On China-trading Concerns

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