How Britain's Biggest Have Performed

Stocks rose to record levels on Friday, bond yields tumbled to four-year lows and the pound fell on speculative reports that the Government is considering joining the European single currency sooner than expected. The FT-SE 100 index soared 160.1 points or 3.16 per cent to 5,255.6, its biggest one-day gain ever. The market rose 4 per cent on the week.

Banks such as Lloyds TSB, Barclays and National Westminster led the gains as they will be prime beneficiaries from the shared official interest rates within EMU, which will be lower than current UK rates. Engineering stocks like Siebe and TI Group also rose. They are heavily dependent on export earnings and will enjoy an improved competitive advantage as the value of sterling falls against European currencies.

Companies reporting this week include McKechnie, Chiroscience and Manchester United.

Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg