FRIDAY MARKET CLOSE: FTSE slide continues

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Britain’s leading share index suffered its largest weekly fall this year as Greece’s decision to delay the start of its repayments to the International Monetary Fund left global markets in the red.

The FTSE 100 tumbled 54.64 points or 0.8 per cent to 6,804.6 following a drop of more than 90 points in the previous session as anxiety mounted over the debt-laden country’s future within the eurozone. The London market fell almost 200 points over the course of the week.

Sterling was weaker against the dollar after official data showed that the US economy added a better-than-expected 280,000 jobs in May once again raising expectations of an interest rate hike later in the year.

Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “That gang-busting print for US non–farm payrolls is doing little to help provide any cheer as it means that a rate hike from the Federal Reserve is all that more imminent.”

Among London stocks heading lower was Vodafone after it issued a statement on talks with cable firm Liberty Global following persistent speculation over a tie-up between the two firms.

Vodafone said it was in early-stage talks with Liberty “regarding a possible exchange of selected assets” between them but said they were not discussing “a combination of the two companies” – disappointing some traders as shares fell 2 per cent, or 6.1p, to 242.1p.

Miners were among the handful of top-flight stocks climbing higher, with Anglo American up 10.5p to 1,015.5p, Rio Tinto climbing 2.5p to 2,852.5p and BHP Billiton up 3.5p to 1,327p.

In the FTSE 250, Halfords was ahead after it reported that annual revenues topped £1 billion, a year ahead of schedule. Shares climbed by 4.5p to 489p.

The biggest risers on the Footsie were Royal Bank of Scotland up 5.2p at 357p, Anglo American up 10.5p at 1,015.5p, Weir Group up 16p at 1,935p and RSA Insurance up 3.4p at 435p.