LONDON -- Improving jobs figures in the U.K., strengthening Chinese growth, the eurozone officially out of recession, and the U.S. economy looking better are all good reasons for cheer. But ironically, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) has been spooked as a result and fell 83 points to end at 6,500, delivering its second week in a row of losses. The fear is that economic recovery will bring an end to stimulus measures sooner than expected, and that interest rates will rise. Individual stock-price movement was subdued, but here are four of the biggest changes.
Glencore Xstrata (LSE:GLEN)
The mining industry is in an upbeat mood right now, boosted by figures from China showing a rise in factory output, and most of the sector is rising. And the FTSE's biggest miner, Glencore Xstrata, had something extra to celebrate, with first-half production figures showing output of own-sourced copper up 20%, gold up 14%, and coal up 22%. Zinc production fell 3%, but that was the only slight negative. The shares ended the week at 308 pence, up 3.7%.
Imperial Tobacco Group (LSE:IMB)
Imperial Tobacco Group picked up 64 pence (3%) to close Friday at 2,205 pence, after a third-quarter update assured us that trading was in line with expectations. Revenue did dip 1% after stick volumes fell 5%, but the current analyst consensus of a 4% rise in EPS for the year sounds realistic, and the dividend is set to yield around 5.4%.
Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE:RBS)
The U.K.'s two bailed-out banks are enjoying better fortune these days, and this week it was the turn of Royal Bank of Scotland to benefit -- the price ended Friday up 17.5 pence (5.3%) at 343 pence. First-half results a week previously were looking good, and the bank is forecast to return to a healthy profit this year, with the shares at a P/E of 17. There is no return to dividends as of yet.
Budget airline easyJet put in another week of falls, dropping 120 pence (8.7%) to 1,257 pence -- and that takes the price down 199 pence (14%) since its peak of 1,456 pence on Aug. 2. Passenger statistics released on Aug. 6 were mixed and failed to beat expectations, and when that happens to a high-flying growth share, a tumble is so often the result. Still, stockholders aren't doing too badly overall, with easyJet still up around 125% over the past 12 months.
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