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* FTSE 100 up 2.3% this week
* House price growth slows in February
* Aggreko rises after backing buyout offer
* London Stock Exchange Group slumps on Refinitiv deal costs
* FTSE 100 down 0.3%, FTSE 250 off 1.6%
March 5 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 ended down on Friday
as concerns around U.S. bond yields and sluggishness in the
British housing market outweighed strength in energy stocks and
weakness in the pound.
But the blue-chip FTSE 100 index logged its best
weekly gain in nearly two months as investors bet on an eventual
reopening and recovery of the economy as COVID-19 vaccinations
The index ended 0.3% down, with industrials and consumer
discretionary stocks, including Melrose Industries, BAE
Systems, International Consolidated Airlines Group
, and Ashtead Group weighing the most.
Further losses were capped by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell
and BP, while export-oriented stocks benefited
from weakness in the pound.
"I think the market is overall still distracted by the
higher bond yields and right now that seems to dissipate the
strength of Brent crude," said Connor Campbell, an analyst at
"The inflationary fears are sort of in the future rather
than at present, so it'll be interesting to see how the markets
react to the U.S inflation figures and Bank of England Governor
Andrew Bailey's talks in next week."
British house price growth slowed for a third month running
in February, a further sign that the pandemic boom in Britain's
housing market was fading, mortgage lender Halifax said.
The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index fell
1.6%, dragged down by consumer discretionary and real estate
stocks. But it logged small gains for the week.
In company news, equipment rental company Aggreko
rose 0.7%, as it backed a 2.32 billion pound ($3.22 billion)
buyout offer from private equity firms TDR Capital LLP and I
London Stock Exchange Group plummeted 14.4% to the
bottom of the blue-chip index, even after announcing a 7%
dividend increase as analysts grew skittish over costs
associated with its $27 billion acquisition of data and
analytics company Refinitiv.
(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Amal S in Bengaluru;
Editing by Rashmi Aich, Aditya Soni and Alex Richardson)