FTSE shrugs off Greece concerns and bucks European trend

Trader in London

(Noon): At midday the London market shrugged off concerns over Greece's ability to maintain its debt repayments and bucked the European trend.

The FTSE 100 was up more than 17 points, or 0.25%, to reach 7,058.45, in contrast to French and German markets.

The biggest riser at lunchtime was pump maker Weir Group, up more than 3% on positive news from North America's shale gas producers.

An upgrade by broker Credit Suisse also helped boost Weir's share price.

Associated British Foods (ABH) lost some of its earlier gains, but was still up 2.47% at 3,023p, after investment bank Goldman Sachs changed its rating on the stock from "sell" to "buy".

The broker said the stock's 17% "underperformance" over the year-to-date made it an attractive option for investors.

Other risers included mining company Fresnillo, up 1.22%, as it recovered some earlier losses over the week, and biopharmaceutical company Shire Group, up 1.33%.

The FTSE 100's biggest fallers were safety inspections firm, Intertek Group, down 1.38%, and supermarket Morrisons, down more than 1%.

On the currency markets, the pound continued its slide on earlier weak UK economic growth data, down 0.44% against the dollar at $1.5246, and down 0.67% against the euro at €1.3893.