FTSE 100 movers: Banks and housebuilders rally; Rolls-Royce retreats
London's FTSE 100 was up 0.1% at 7,366.10 in afternoon trade on Friday, with stocks most exposed to Brexit racking up the strongest gains.
Banks and housebuilders - both of which are sensitive to Brexit news - were on the rise, with RBS, Lloyds, Persimmon, Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey all higher.
The gains came as investors chose to cling on to the most positive Brexit headlines of the day, namely EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's apparent optimism that a deal can be done by 31 October.
RBS was also in the green after appointing Alison Rose as its new chief executive officer.
Rose, who will be the bank's first female CEO, is currently deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings. She will take up the position on 1 November, with Ross McEwan set to step down at the end of October.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "Rose looks like a continuity candidate, given she has 27 years at the bank, and she was the favourite for the role. It is notable that she will be the first woman to head a major British bank.
"One of the key challenges will be managing the transition back to full private ownership - a tricky task given the remaining 62% Government stake. It is also worth considering that a potential Labour-led administration might look to keep the bank in public hands to use it as a vehicle to support domestic economic growth.
"Rose also faces a likely challenge from the economic fallout associated with Brexit, in particular the risk of a spike in bad debts."
On the downside, Rolls-Royce was weaker after it warned airline customers of further disruption as it made changes to its Trent 1000 engine repair programme on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 216.80p 4.23%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,111.00p 3.99%
Kingfisher (KGF) 201.20p 3.23%
ITV (ITV) 130.10p 2.89%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 649.40p 2.82%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 55.48p 2.63%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 203.40p 2.44%
Next (NXT) 5,952.00p 2.27%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 164.30p 2.24%
Tesco (TSCO) 241.70p 2.20%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 350.70p -2.23%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 792.40p -2.15%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,591.50p -1.97%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,908.00p -1.81%
BAE Systems (BA.) 574.80p -1.78%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,637.00p -1.64%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,847.50p -1.47%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 2,153.50p -1.40%
Ferguson (FERG) 5,972.00p -1.29%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,121.00p -1.23%