FTSE steadies, RBS and Barclays diverge on U.S. settlement updates


Britain’s top shares held roughly steady in a shortened session on Friday, with RBS (RBS.L) and Barclays (BARC.L) heading in opposite directions following the latest developments in a U.S. probe into misselling of mortgage securities.

The FTSE 100 ended up 0.1 per cent, and was up 0.8 per cent for the week – a third successive week of gains.

The index hit its highest level in over two months.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) closed up 1.4 per cent, after the U.S. Department of Justice settled with Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) with a smaller fine than had been originally proposed, prompting speculation it might also be lenient on RBS.

However, Barclays (BARC.L) fell 0.9 per cent after it failed to agree a settlement with the DoJ. The department has launched a lawsuit against the British bank, but Barclays rejects its complaint.

The FTSE 100 traded just 22 per cent of its 90-day average volume.

It only traded for half a day due to the upcoming Christmas holiday. Both Monday and Tuesday are UK market holidays.


The author Paul