Bank stocks rise, nudging FTSE 100 higher

The FTSE 100 was up 0.1% at 7,051.74. Financial, industrial, tech and consumer services stocks were higher, but the commodity, utility and healthcare sectors lost ground. On Tuesday, the London benchmark rose 0.4% after swinging in and out of losses during the session.

Bank shares on Wednesday were gaining ground, with Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays up by 1.3% and 0.5%, respectively.

The moves came as the Swiss Competition Commission said it has fined the banks and several other lenders a total of about 99 million Swiss francs ($ 96.3 million) in its probes into rigging of rates and related products.

The regulator Comco said in a statement it had reached an “amicable settlement” with RBS, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale over their participation in the Euribor cartel. RBS and Barclays also settled investigations into cartels to manipulate Yen Libor, Swiss franc interest rate derivative pricing and the Swiss franc Libor benchmark rate.

Carnival shares were down 2.2%, giving back a chunk of Tuesday’s rise of 3%. That move came after the cruise line operator posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

Equipment rental company Ashtead Group added 2.1%, and miner Antofagasta gained 1.2%.

The pound was buying $ 1.2362, down from $ 1.2368 late Tuesday in New York.

The Bank of England’s Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions, an account of activity and outlooks from roughly 700 businesses, is due at 9:30 a.m. London time, or 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

At the same time, an update on the UK’s public finances, outlining its borrowing and any deficit, will be released.

This article was first published by MarketWatch

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