Markets: How Britain's biggest have performed

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The Independent Online
The best-performing stock in the FT-SE 100 last week was Standard Chartered Bank which rose 6.4 per cent after the stock was recommended by brokers. Profits this year are expected to benefit from dynamic growth in its Hong Kong and Asia Pacific operations. The stock usually gains when the Hong Kong Hang Seng index rises as it did this week.

n Lloyds TSB was the second-best performing stock on the FT-SE 100, gaining 5.5 per cent. The bank, which owns the building society Cheltenham & Gloucester, gained on optimism about the outlook for the housing market. The start of trading in the Alliance & Leicester shares next week has focused attention on other stocks with exposure to the mortgage market. The bank is considered attractive for its low-risk, high-quality loan book and constrained costs.

n The worst-performing stock last week was LucasVarity, which fell 3.5 per cent. The company disappointed with its first set of results since it was formed from a merger last year, as it indicated that growth was sluggish in its auto parts business. The company's new dividend policy, which included plans for a 3 per cent buyback of its own stock, was more generous than expected but was insufficient to stem selling. The buyback began on Thursday. Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg