HOW BRITAIN'S BIGGEST HAVE PERFORMED

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The Independent Online
The FT-SE 100 index climbed 1 per cent last week to 4,899.3. Lloyds TSB led the gainers after announcing a first-half net profit surge of 57 per cent. Shares jumped 60.5 pence to 736p. Stocks are expected to rise next week as some of Britain's biggest companies, including BP, reveal higher earnings. There is also optimism that the Bank of England has inflation under control as the monetary policy committee meets next week to set interest rates.

Banks set to report earnings this week include HSBC Holdings, Midland, NatWest, Standard Chartered and Barclays. It is unlikely other banks will match Lloyds' profits. Among other companies publishing earnings are Zeneca, Pearson, Commercial Union, GKN, Cadbury Schweppes, Rank, British Airways and BAA.

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