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The best performing sector last week was banks, which rose 10 per cent, its largest gain since April 1992. The imminent flotation of four building societies converting to banks means that institutions have to boost weightings in the sector. Prospects are also seen as favourable for banks as bond yields are falling, bad loans appear to be restrained and the economy and housing markets are growing strongly. This is the best-performing sector on the market this year.

The life insurance sector rose 6.5 per cent, its second week of strong gains. This sector is also benefiting from demutualisation, with Norwich Union floating next month.

The worst performing sector was diversified industrials, which fell 6 per cent, almost entirely accounted for by the decline of BTR, the leading stock in the sector. Engineering group TI was boosted on Friday as the pound fell. The company derives much of its earnings from overseas. Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg