FTSE 100 movers: Banks lower; Mediclinic provides the right medicine
Bank stocks dominated the top fallers on the FTSE 100 on Thursday, leading to a weaker market ahead of the Easter break.
Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, and HSBC were all lower. Institutions are tightening unsecured credit to households, according to figures released by the Bank of England. There are fears that consumers' ability to repay loans are diminishing.
Standard Life fell as the stock went ex-dividend.
Healthcare group Mediclinic International gained ground as it said its two largest platforms, Switzerland and Southern Africa, in addition to its Dubai business, all performed in line with expectations during the 2017 financial year.
Royal Mail shares rose after it announced that it will shut its defined benefit pension scheme in 2018, saying there was no affordable solution to keep the plan open in its current form.
Associated British Foods got a boost as Jefferies upped the stock to 'buy' from 'hold'.
Randgold and Fresnillo rose as the dollar fell on the back of US President Donald Trump's comments that the greenback was too strong combined with a rise in the gold price to a five month high.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,310.75 -0.52%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Mediclinic International (MDC) 762.00p 3.46%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,698.00p 3.17%
Sage Group (SGE) 664.50p 2.23%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,643.00p 1.67%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,515.00p 1.58%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 253.50p 1.56%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,176.00p 1.36%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,520.00p 1.28%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 569.50p 1.06%
Sky (SKY) 984.50p 0.87%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Standard Life (SL.) 366.00p -3.07%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,644.00p -2.03%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 642.60p -1.94%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 227.20p -1.82%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 709.00p -1.72%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,189.00p -1.51%
Barclays (BARC) 210.60p -1.45%
CRH (CRH) 2,704.00p -1.42%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,101.50p -1.38%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,105.50p -1.26%