HSBC ends up but FTSE ends lower

Trader watching monitor Image copyright AFP

HSBC helped to lift the UK stock market for most of the day after the bank's shares were upgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley.

HSBC shares climbed 4.2%, making it the biggest riser on the FTSE 100, after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the bank to "overweight".

The FTSE 100 index though shed its earlier gains to end down 37.48 at 7,350.32 points.

Mining companies were higher with shares boosted by rising metals prices.

Glencore and Rio Tinto and Antofagasta were both up by more than 2%.

Shares in Sky also performed well despite a probable referral to competition authorities of Murdoch giant Fox's plan to take it over fully.

It closed up more than 3%.

In the FTSE 250, shares in packaging firm DS Smith rose 8% after it said it had entered the US market by buying an 80% stake in US firm Interstate Resources for $920m (£709m).

However, shares in sportswear chain JD Sports fell 8% after if said it was facing pressure on profit margins and added that recent trading had been affected by the timing of the Islamic festival of Eid.

On the currency markets, the pound continued to strengthen. Against the dollar it was up 0.4% at $1.2984, although it was flat against the euro at 1.1365 euros.

On Wednesday, the pound had jumped by nearly 1% after the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, suggested that interest rates could rise if business investment grows.