Afternoon markets: Lloyds storms to top at end of trading

Lloyds Banking Group was the biggest riser on the FTSE 100 index at the close of trading, after its share price was buoyed by an upgrade.

The banking group saw its share price rise by 5.6% at the end of the day to 24.94p, as BNP Paribas Exan upgraded the British bank to “outperform” status.

Elsewhere steel company Evraz rose 2.8% to 375.3p and was joined at the top by fellow FTSE 100 newcomer CRH, the building supplies company, which increased by 2.6% to 1,204p.

Plumbing supplies company Wolseley and precious metals miner Polymetal Internation both rose by 2.1% to 2,052p and 1,078p, respectively.

The rises weren’t enough to lift the FTSE 100, though, as it fell below 5,400, after take-up of cheap loans from the European Central Bank by banks failed to inspire investors.

At the other end of the FTSE 100, the biggest faller was Essar Energy, down 3.4% to 171.9p. It was joined by commercial broadcaster ITV, which dropped 2.9% to 62.3p.

Elsewhere, Vedanta Resources slipped 2.6% lower to 1,042p, consultancy Amec fell 2.5% to 871p, as business software company Sage Group dropped 2.4% to 284.8p.

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