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The FT-SE 100 fell 165.5 points, or 3.29 per cent, to 4,865.80 last week, with most of the fall coming on Friday when the market suffered its biggest one-day decline in nearly five years. British Telecom was the weakest stock of the week falling 10.6 per cent.

The broader FT-SE 250 advanced, though, notching a 1 per cent gain on the week as shares in companies such as Williams, Bunzl and Cookson Group rose.

The growing divide in performance between large and mid-sized companies is expected to keep the FT-SE 100 and 250 indexes out of synch as the pound's rise against the mark appears to have halted for the time being. British building materials exporters, chemical and paper companies have struggled to accelerate profit growth this year as the pound has climbed more than 19 per cent against a trade-weighted basket of currencies.

Companies reporting earnings next week include retailer Argos and the Halifax.

Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg