FTSE 100: risers and sliders this week

This week saw oil and gas producer Shell help drag the FTSE 100 higher after the company recorded its highest earnings in four years, while British telcos suffered significant losses on the main index.

Royal Dutch Shell ended its fiscal year on a high, with the oil and gas producer securing strong earnings in its fourth quarter that boosted 2018 profits by 36% compared the same period last year, helping to drag the FTSE 100 higher this week.

In fact, the FTSE 100 rose as much as 3% over the last five days, with the blue-chip benchmark finally breaking through the 7000 level and clawing back the losses the index suffered in the build up to Christmas.

Shell was key to the FTSE 100 gains this week, with its share price buoyed by a strong set of earnings that are the by-product of the company implementing a solid cost reduction strategy and focusing on higher margin projects.

Another notable performer on the FTSE 100 was drinks giant Diageo, which has seen its share price rise by more than 7.5% following it plans to buy back a further £660 million worth of shares from investors.

The British beverages company has an excellent Christmas trading period, with UK consumers sipping on many of its top brands, helping to drive overall sales in Britain up by 14% in the six months to December 31.

FTSE 100 losers

It has been a tough week for British telecoms companies, with BT and TalkTalk both seeing their share price take a tumble after announcing quarterly results that disappointed investors.

BT reported revenue of £17.6 billion, down 1% compared to the same period a year ago, with underlying revenues falling 0.9%, as growth in its consumer business was offset by regulated price reductions in Openreach and a slump in its enterprise businesses.

Meanwhile, TalkTalk told investors that it will miss its full year guidance target due to its earnings being impacted by costs associated with acquiring new customers and a change in accounting standards, which saw its share price fall as much as 8% on Friday.

Mid-market movers

The FTSE 250 has edged higher this week with mining companies Ferrexpo and KAZ Minerals leading the pack.

The Swiss-based commodity and mining company saw its share price climb as much as 32% this week after Deutsche Bank upgraded its rating for Ferrexpo and increased targets and estimates for iron ore miners, including Anglo American and Rio Tinto.

One of the biggest losers this week was UK challenger Metro Bank, which saw its share price slide as much as 26% as the troubled lender admitted that regulators flagged its recent accounting error which underestimated the risk of a portfolio of commercial and buy-to-let loans.

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