MONDAY MARKET CLOSE: Banks in focus as index edges higher

The London market edged higher as banks grabbed the investor spotlight after Standard Chartered announced a shake-up in its structure while Barclays was reportedly planning to axe 30,000 jobs.

Barclays are reportedly planning to axe more than 30,000 jobs. Picture: PA
Barclays are reportedly planning to axe more than 30,000 jobs. Picture: PA

Asia-focused Standard Chartered unveiled changes included a new-look management committee and a slimmer regional structure.

Shares rose almost 1 per cent, or 9.5p, to 1,026.5p as the wider FTSE 100 index added 13.61 points to 6,788.69. HSBC, also largely focused on Asia, was up 6.5p to 586.7p.

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Barclays declined to comment on a media report that it was set to deepen job cuts after chief executive Antony Jenkins was fired earlier this month. Shares closed up 0.75p at 280.85.

Market sentiment was broadly positive as Greece’s banks reopened their doors, with fears over the debt crisis that had left it on the brink of a euro exit easing further following the deal between the debt-laden country and its creditors.

David Madden, a market analyst at IG, said the reopening of Greek banks had initially lifted investor confidence, but European stock markets had been slowly giving back some of their gains during the day.

“The Greek debt saga has been on repeat for five years, so traders have learned what to expect, and they suspect this current calm between the storms won’t last long,” he said.

Randgold Resources topped the FTSE 100 fallers’ board as it dropped 187p to 3,817p and Fresnillo was right behind as it slid 29p to 629p.

Insurance giant Prudential fell after the stock was downgraded from buy to hold by brokers at Jefferies. Shares fell 15.5p to 1618p.

Engineering software group Aveva was the big climber in the FTSE 250 as soared by 27 per cent, or 484p to 2,256p, after it announced details of a £550 million reverse takeover by Schneider Electric.