- END-OF-DAY REPORT: Headline shares recovered after an afternoon rally inspired by better-than-expected jobs data out of the US, offetting weakness provoked by RBS suffering heavy losses when interim results fell short of analysts' expectations.

At the close of play, the FTSE100 was up 41.03 points at 4,731.56 with the FTSE250 ahead 43.91 points at 8,421.46 and the FTSE Smallcaps 12.11 points lower at 2,517.86.


US stocks moved higher in morning trade, investors cheered by better-than-expected jobs data showing the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4%.

Approaching the close in London, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 145.86 points at 9,402, with the S&P500 ahead 16.6 points at 1,014 and the Nasdaq Composite adding 31.13 points at 2,004.


Rising bad debt provisions took the shine off the half-year numbers at Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS reported a net attributable loss of £1.042bn, with impairments across the group of £7.5bn. Excluding the write-down of goodwill, group pretax profits were £15m. RBS was the worst performing blue chip, down 6.46p (12%) at 46.99p.

The news reverberated throughout the financial sector, with Lloyds sliding 2.7p at 102p, but Barclays and HSBC recovered in the afternoon rally to close ahead 11p at 365p and 6p higher at 667p.

Insurers also turned mixed during the afternoon session, with Aviva adding 6.1p at 381.8p, Amlin up 10.2p at 350.1p and Standard Life 4.8p better at 192.8p, while Prudential slipped 4.7p at 472.5p and Old Mutual was 1.45p worse at 93.35p.

Fund Managers suffered, with Schroders giving back 6p at 990.5p and Man Group slipping 5.1p at 269p.

Weakness in the mining sector restricted FTSE gains, with ENRC the worst of them, down 31p at 848.5p. Xstrata slipped 8.5p at 811.5p and Vedanta Resources slid 35p to 1,825p.

Lonmin lost 18p at 1,449p, undermined by being started with a sell rating at Panmure Gordon.

Oil majors provided firm support as crude prices ticked over $71 a barrel, with Shell up 37p at 1,546p, BG Group 10.5p higher at 1,009p and BP ahead 10.65p at 509.75p.

Defence group Cobham added to yesterday's move forward, adding a further 4p at 191.4p, while Serco was the top ranked blue chip of the session, up 14.9p at 412p.

Water groups recouped some of the previous session's losses, with Severn Trent recovering 13p at 947p and United Utilities rallying 2.4p at 437.9p.

Down the list, IT firm Logica edged up 2.6p at 111.6p, after reporting a pretax profit of £24m for the first half-year, up from £13m the prior year. Interim dividend was marked down to 1p from 2.4p.

Rare stamps specialist Stanley Gibbons gave up early gins to close flat at 130.5p after first half-year pretax profit rose 13% to £1.4m on salese up 18% to £9.6m.

News that the OFT has referred Sports Direct's acquisition of 31 JJB Sports stores to the Competition Commission hit both companies. Sports Direct fell 2.25p at 88.75p and JJB dropped 0.5p at 25.25p.

Story provided by Business Financial Newswire