FRIDAY MARKET CLOSE: Indy vote result triggers relief rally

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Britain’s benchmark share index lifted this afternoon after the outcome of the independence referendum vote ended a long run of uncertainty for the London market.

Traders welcomed the margin of victory for the No camp as the FTSE-100 rose 18.63 points to 6,837.92, though it lost a bit of its earlier stronger gains, driven by a rally for companies that are based in Scotland or have significant interests in the country.

Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “The FTSE-100 may have opened in a somewhat euphoric mood this morning as news broke that Scotland had elected to remain part of the United Kingdom, but after the initial jubilation, traders have been wary of getting too excited about the result.”

Sterling rose as high $1.65 against the dollar in the early hours of the morning but slipped back from the two-week high, to $1.63, as the euphoria faded and traders mulled the prospect of higher interest rates in the US.

The pound was at €1.27 against the euro, easing back from a 24-month high it hit once it was clear the UK would not be broken up.

Royal Bank of Scotland was a strong riser in the top flight – up 8.8p to 366p – as a No vote meant it would no longer have to implement a plan to move south of the Border.

Other firms with Scottish connections also made gains. Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Bank of Scotland, lifted 0.95p to 76.8p while Perth-based energy firm SSE rose 2p to 1,523p and Babcock International, which has defence interests in Scotland, was up 26p at 1,091p.

Away from the Scottish vote, GlaxoSmithKline was up 12.5p at 1,449p, despite paying a £297 million fine after being found guilty of bribing doctors and hospitals to use its products in China. But as the case has lasted more than a year traders had already priced in much of this bad news.

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