HOW BRITAIN'S BIGGEST HAVE PERFORMED

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The Independent Online
n The best-performing stock in the FT-SE 100 last week was BANK OF SCOTLAND, which rose 8.3 per cent after the company announced that pre-tax profit rose 27 per cent to pounds 664.1m last year because of a strong gain in lending income in the UK. Brokers recommended the stock on the outlook for sustained growth while costs remain firmly under control.

n HAYS SERVICES, the business services group, was the second-best performing stock, rising 8.1 per cent after a stockbroker recommended purchases of the stock.

n The worst performing stock was TI GROUP, which fell 5.2 per cent on concern about the impact of the strength of sterling on profits and sluggish demand. The company relies on Europe and North America for about 75 per cent of its sales of auto and aircraft parts.

n The second-worst performing stock was IMPERIAL TOBACCO, which fell 3.2 per cent. All tobacco shares were hurt by a ruling in the US by a federal judge that the Food and Drug Administration can regulate tobacco products, possibly weakening the companies' bargaining position in settlement of health-related litigation.

BEST AND WORST PERFORMING SECTORS

THE BEST performing sector last week was household goods, which rose 4.6 per cent. This was largely due to the rise of the leading stock in the sector, Reckitt & Colman, after a stockbroker recommended the shares as undervalued by 10 per cent compared with their European counterparts.

Retail banks rose 3.8 per cent buoyed by the sparkling gains in Alliance & Leicester, the newly converted building society whose shares began trading on Monday.

THE WORST performing sector was engineering vehicles, which fell 2.7 per cent; the second worst was engineering, declining 2.56 per cent. Both sectors were depressed after a surprise profit warning from Vickers cast a shadow over all the stocks.

Vickers blamed the strength of sterling but analysts are also concerned about weak demand in the car industry for parts in both Europe and North America. Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg

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