Markets: HOW BRITAIN'S BIGGEST HAVE PERFORMED

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The Independent Online
The biggest gainer on the FT-SE 100 index was Burmah Castrol, the international lubricants group, which rose 5.6 per cent in the week. Several stockbrokers are recommending the stock after the chairman stressed that trading to date is stronger than a year ago, quelling concerns that currency fluctuations had hurt its overseas performance.

The second best performing stock of the week was Mercury Asset Management, which rose 4.2 per cent after the company announced it has been appointed to manage more than pounds 83m of assets on behalf of Logica's pension scheme. Some of the directors also purchased shares.

The biggest decliner on the index was BTR, which fell 9.2 per cent. Institutional investors are calling for the removal of the chairman following a surprise profits warning last month due to problems in the German and Austrian businesses. Investors are sceptical about the credibility of the company's restructuring strategy. They want to see a more "heavyweight" chairman.

The second worst performing stock was Commercial Union, which fell 5.8 per cent. The company announced at the end of the previous week that it had agreed to buy a US property and casualty firm, Houston General Insurance, for a sum to be agreed by the end of September. Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg

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