The FTSE 100 remained in the red by the market close on Friday. The banking sector remaining weak after populist politicians in Italy won a battle to secure a budget which will increase the country's deficit.

Lloyds shed 2.3% to 59.6p followed by Royal Bank of Scotland, down 2.2% at 250p.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.5% lower at 7,510.

Sterling dipped on news that the UK economy grew 1.2% in the first half of the year, the lowest level of half year growth since 2011.

On Wall Street, trading was subdued with the Dow Jones enjoying the biggest gains, up 0.2% at 26,488 around 4:45pm UK time.

Brent crude oil rose 1.3% to $82.82 per barrel. Copper climbed 0.8% to $2.79 per pound and gold glittered at $1,189 per ounce.


Millennium & Copthorne was up 1.7% at 521p despite chief executive officer Jennifer Fox leaving the company after only three months.

Randgold Resources sought to allay fears that Congo's state miner Sokimo would take action on its Kibali project in reaction to a proposed merger with Canada's Barrick Gold. Sokima has warned it will 'assert its rights' but it's not clear exactly what this would entail. Shares in the miner strengthened 3.6% to £54.50.

Outsourcer Serco surprised investors after revealing full year trading will be better than anticipated with sales, profits and cash flow guidance improved, triggering a 10.7% surge in the stock to 97.8p.

RSA Insurance struggled with more weather-related costs and an underwhelming UK underwriting performance, leading to weak third quarter trading. Investors marked the stock 9.3% lower to 575p.

The market had a negative read across to peers Direct Line and Admiral, which experienced smaller declines.

Shares in fantasy miniature specialist Games Workshop fell 4.2% to £37.85 after ex-chairman Tom Kirby sold approximately 550,000 shares at £36.50 per share.

Budget airline EasyJet said annual pre-tax profit will be between £570m and £580m, hitting the upper half of its previous guidance thanks to troubles at Ryanair and the demise of Monarch and Air Berlin. The stock nudged 1% lower to £13.12.

Investors focused on water firm United Utilities' decision to invest a further £80m this year to tackle higher demand, overlooking an anticipated rise in first half sales. Shares in the company rose 1.5% to 704p.


On AIM, petrol forecourt retailer Applegreen returned from suspension and released the admission document on its takeover of UK motorway service operator Welcome Break. Shares in Applegreen accelerated 8.3% to 582.7p.

Parasite control products specialist TyraTech rallied 31.9% to 2.9p on a conditional merger deal with shareholder American Vanguard, which offered to buy the shares it does not already own for 3.1p per share.

Oil and gas explorer Savannah Petroleum surged 9.1% to 32.5p after reporting a good rate of drilling success in Niger and strong progress on the acquisition of specific assets from Seven Energy.

A first half loss and warning from restaurants operator Richoux that trading is not expected to improve in the second half dragged the stock 11.4% lower to 7.7p.