MONDAY MARKET CLOSE: HSBC’s woes check Footsie breakout

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Banking giant HSBC prevented the FTSE 100 Index from testing record highs yesterday after its profits tumbled.

Shares in the heavyweight stock slumped almost 5 per cent, which in turn saw the FTSE 100 Index remain broadly flat - down 3.04 points to 6,912.16.

Picture: Getty

Picture: Getty

The top flight had been in positive territory earlier in the session after Greece and its European creditors agreed a four-month extension to the country’s bail-out agreements.

Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “The FTSE 100 kicked off the week by shooting above that all-time closing high of 6,931 but there wasn’t enough momentum to lift the index beyond the all-time intraday high.”

The heavy weighting of HSBC dragged on the index after the bank said a weak fourth quarter in its investment arm contributed to an annual profit drop of 17 per cent. Shares fell 28p to 577.2p and Asia-facing rival Standard Chartered dropped by 45.4p to 928.1p.

But Lloyds Banking Group was up 1p to 79p after it emerged that the UK government has sold another £500 million of shares in the part-nationalised lender.

The rise in the share price comes with Lloyds expected to announce its first dividend in seven years later this week.

Other big risers in the FTSE 100 included British Airways owner International Airlines Group, which climbed 11p to 562p ahead of its results later this week.

And Primark owner Associated British Foods was higher after it reported more strong growth for its retail arm, with sales for the first half of the financial year set to be 16 per cent higher at constant currency rates. With Primark and the rest of the business continuing to trade in line with expectations, shares rose 22p to 3,058p.