Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Markets Close Up as Italy Approves Reform

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Markets Close Up as Italy Approves Reform

Article excerpt

Byline: Brewin Dolphin

THE FTSE 100 Index gained 100 points to close at 5545.4. Markets ended the week on a high as investors welcomed the Italian Senate approval of reforms aimed at cutting the country's budget deficit.

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is expected to resign over the weekend and be replaced by Mario Monti as head of an interim government. The pressure abated on Italian government bond markets, lowering the country's cost of borrowing from its recent peak. However, investors warned there was still more work to be done in order to restore growth in the fragile European economy. Shares in Schroders rallied by almost 7% to 1393p after the stock received a broker recommendation upgrade. Banking stocks reclaimed some of the ground lost earlier in the week. Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland closed 6.4% higher at 22.46p and Lloyds Banking Group shares gained 6% to close at 28.835p. The poorest performing stock was Burberry, its shares falling 1% to 1377p. …

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