Barclays shares up as Bob Diamond quits


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The Independent Online

Barclays shares were nearly 2% higher as investors appeared to back Bob Diamond's decision to step down as the bank's chief executive.

After a volatile start in early trading, the blue-chip stock, which was hammered last week after Barclays was fined £290 million for rigging a key interbank lending rate, settled around 3.6p higher at 172.1p.

However, the shares are still below the 196p at which they opened last Thursday before the bank saw around £3 billion wiped from its market value as Libor-fixing affair escalated.

Mike McCudden, head of derivatives at Interactive Investor, said: "This story is likely to run for some time yet however, but despite the void Mr Diamond's departure leaves at one of the UK's largest banks, investors seem to be thinking - or at least hoping - that this may draw a line under the issue."

Other analysts said traders could be bargain-hunting, buying up Barclays shares after they lost so much value in the past week.

Other banking stocks were mixed as analysts warned the Libor and wider banking culture issue would broaden to cover all banks in the coming days.

Taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland, which is being investigated by the FSA, lost 1%, but Lloyds Banking Group was slightly ahead.

Ian Gordon, analyst at Investec, who yesterday backed Mr Diamond, said the timing of his departure was a surprise.

But he added: "We expect Barclays' sharp share price under-performance to reverse as the market takes a more dispassionate look at the facts."