Precious Metal Takes Shine off Index

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Byline: FTSE 100 Thomas Smith Brewin Dolphin

TRADING on Friday was mixed as the FTSE 100 Index closed marginally up 0.8 points at 6328.

Throughout the session investors shrugged off unexpectedly poor UK sales data. UK retail sales fell in January, confounding expectations for a rise. Volumes fell 0.6% from December 2012, hurt by heavy snowfall, the Office for National Statistics said.

In company news, Anglo American reported that cost pressures at its Minas Rio iron ore mine in Brazil and highly publicised walkouts in South Africa (which hit its platinum production) led to a full-year net loss of PS1.29bn. Cynthia Carroll, the group's outgoing chief executive said she expects a better year following a challenging 2012. Shares in Anglo American closed up 1.3% at 2039p.

Precious metals groups were at the other end of the FTSE 100 Index performance table, after downgrades from a well-known investment bank. …