LONDON -- It really looks like the optimism has disappeared from the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) now. Despite recovering 54 points on Friday, the U.K.'s top index still ended the week 99 points down at 6,552. That's five losing weeks in a row, and we could easily see the FTSE closer to 6,000 than 6,500 by year-end at this rate.
Sage Group (LSE:SGE)
Business software developer Sage Group reported a 12% rise in full-year underlying earnings per share, and lifted its dividend 6% to 11.32 pence. It was rewarded with a 24 pence (6.9%) share price spike to 372 pence -- the shares are now up more than 25% over the past 12 months.
CEO Guy Berruyer said, "We remain confident of achieving our target of 6% organic revenue growth in 2015, and anticipate further progress during the year ahead."
Smith & Nephew (LSE:SN)
Smith & Nephew has seen its price climbing steadily as it continues with its share buyback spree -- the orthopedics specialist snapped up a further 690,000 shares this week at prices ranging between 812.5 pence and 845 pence. The firm also announced the appointment of a new chairman, Roberto Quarta.
The price ended the week 30.5 pence (3.7%) up at 846 pence.
Standard Chartered (LSE:STAN)
The U.K.-based bank that had largely avoided the crash warned on Wednesday of "difficult market conditions," especially in its Financial Markets business, and saw its stock dip 117.5 pence (8.1%) to 1,331 pence over the week.
Over the past three years the Standard Chartered price has slumped 27%, while the banks bailed out with taxpayers' money have been soaring -- Lloyds Banking Group is up more than 150% over the same period.
It was a bad week for those who delve for the shiny things of the Earth, with silver and gold miner Fresnillo falling 76 pence (9.1%) to 757 pence -- the price is now down more than 60% over 12 months.
Africa-based gold miner Randgold Resources also had a bad week, losing 307 pence to 4,039 pence (7%), taking the price down nearly 40% in a year.
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