FTSE 100 movers: Banks boosted by broker notes; Hikma drops again
London's FTSE 100 was up 0.2% to 7,430.06 in afternoon trade, with broker notes playing their part in the action.
RBS was the standout gainer as Natixis upgraded its stance on the stock to 'buy' from 'reduce' and lifted its price target by 29% to 289p, saying the investment thesis is reaching a turning point.
The French investment bank said the time is near when the long-standing strengths of the core bank will outweigh the material drag of legacy items. It pointed out that management, which has built a reputation for realism, foresees a statutory profit in 2018 after 10 years in a row of losses.
Also on Friday, Sky News reported that RBS has accelerated talks about a legal settlement with thousands of former investors ahead of a trial that would see former boss Fred Goodwin called to give evidence.
Barclays was also boosted by a broker note, as Morgan Stanley bumped the stock up to 'overweight'.
Housebuilder Barratt Developments got a lift as peer Berkeley Group said full year pre-tax profits are expected to be at the top end of analysts' expectations, with the actual outturn dependent upon completion timing on Berkeley's larger developments.
Prudential gained ground after JP Morgan Cazenove upgraded it to ‘neutral’ from ‘underweight’ and lifted the price target to 1,705p from 1,450p.
The bank said its key concerns around the US and the UK businesses have receded due to the strong US macroeconomic backdrop and strong UK Solvency II ratio.
On the downside, Old Mutual was under pressure despite its price target being upped to 180p from 160p by RBC Capital Markets.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals was weaker for a second day in a row after JPM cut the stock to 'neutral' from 'overweight' on Thursday.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 246.80p 2.58%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,950.00p 2.20%
BT Group (BT.A) 336.50p 1.92%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 859.00p 1.78%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,021.00p 1.69%
Prudential (PRU) 1,782.50p 1.65%
Barclays (BARC) 233.20p 1.63%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 542.50p 1.50%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 259.50p 1.37%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 238.60p 1.32%
Old Mutual (OML) 223.10p -1.59%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,162.00p -1.28%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 763.00p -1.23%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 330.50p -1.11%
Pearson (PSON) 652.00p -1.06%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 993.00p -1.00%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,363.00p -0.84%
Sage Group (SGE) 637.00p -0.78%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,694.00p -0.70%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,612.00p -0.68%