MARKETS: HOW BRITAIN'S BIGGEST HAVE PERFORMED

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The Independent Online
Stocks are seen mixed this week as companies kick off their earnings season, and investors assess a 1.5 per cent decline by the FT-SE 100 Index on Friday. The index ended the week at 4877.3, still up 1 per cent over the five days thanks to gains by banks and pharmaceuticals.

Friday's losses were precipitated by a drop in the US Dow Jones Index, which had fallen 127.29 points to 7893.25 as Europe closed on signs of slower growth at Microsoft. Against that, UK stocks will have difficulty making headway regardless of the strength of earnings reports.

SmithKline Beecham will report tomorrow, and is expected to show profit growth enjoyed by only a handful of the largest companies.

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