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FTSE 100 closes the week with big gains

Fri, 23rd Oct 2020

A relatively downbeat start to trading in the US took some of the wind out of the FTSE 100's sails but it still closed up 1.3% at 5,860.28 amid strength in the banking sector. By 4.30pm UK time the S&P 500 was down a handful of points at 3,450.27 on mounting scepticism over the fate of stimulus talks and mixed news on results, with chip maker Intel down heavily on its latest quarterly missive. Barclays gained 6.1% to 110.62p, having reported a jump in third-quarter profit to £1.1 billion, boosted by an absence of payment protection insurance provisions that had weighed on previous results. The bank's credit impairment charge was £0.6 billion, up 32% year-on-year, but down 63% versus the prior quarter. McCarthy & Stone, which builds and operates retirement homes, soared 39.4% to 115.7p on news that it had agreed to be acquired by a fund managed by private equity group Lone Star for around £630 million. McCarthy & Stone investors had been offered 115p cash per share by Lone Star Real Estate Fund VI, representing a 39% premium to the company's closing price on Thursday. Elsewhere, Intercontinental Hotels shed 1.8% to £41.86 after it reported a 53% slump in third-quarter room revenue as the hospitality sector continued to be battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. On a slightly more positive note, the fall for the third quarter wasn't as steep as the 75% drop recorded for the second. Bourse operator London Stock Exchange fell 1.3% to £84.02 as it reported a 2% uptick in third-quarter revenue, led by a rise in its post-trade clearing business. The company said it expected its planned acquisition of financial data group Refinitiv to be wrapped up in the first quarter of 2021. Plastic products supplier Essentra added 1.3% to 266.6p, even as it reported a 6.7% year-on-year decline in third-quarter sales. Weakness at Essentra's packaging division was partially offset by an improved performance at its components business. Infrastructure services group Nexus Infrastructure slumped 7.3% to 126.1p, having guided for a full-year loss, though at an improved level compared to its expectations in June. Clinical technology group Sensyne Health gained 15.7% to 107p as it formed a research collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb. Technology company Vianet gained 12.2% to 71.8p on announcing first-half trading ahead of its Covid-19-revised forecasts. Story provided by

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