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FTSE 100 movers: NatWest rallies on results; miners in the black

(Sharecast News) - London's FTSE 100 was up 1.5% at 7,712.59 in afternoon trade on Friday. NatWest Bank rallied as it reported a 20% rise in operating profit and confirmed Paul Thwaite as chief executive on a permanent basis.

NatWest said 2023 pre-tax operating profit came in at £6.17bn, beating the £5.95bn average of analyst forecasts compiled by the bank. Total income rose to £14.7bn, up from £13.1bn a year earlier.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: "The early muted reaction to NatWest's latest update was no real surprise. Better than expected profitability and distributions to shareholders are fine but any optimism was tempered by news medium-term returns targets have been watered down.

"Achieving the highest annual profit since 2007 could be viewed in two ways - yes, clearly a key milestone and measure of progress after years of false dawns and stuttering recovery efforts, but it took 16 years to get there after the financial crisis.

"Still, as the trading session progressed, investors seemed to warm to the numbers and, overall, there will be relief in the government that NatWest hasn't served up a major stinker ahead of an expected share offer to the public later this year.

"The appointment of interim boss Paul Thwaite on a permanent basis provides some continuity and that may reassure the market given his predecessor left not because the strategy wasn't working but for extraneous reasons.

"The agency which manages the state holding in NatWest had also made it very clear that stable leadership was an important prerequisite to getting any big placing in the stock away."

Lloyds and Standard Chartered also gained.

Heavily-weighted miners were also on the front foot, with Antofagasta, Rio Tinto and Anglo American all up.

FTSE 100 - Risers

NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 225.90p 5.41% Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,761.50p 4.26% Prudential (PRU) 836.20p 3.54% Rio Tinto (RIO) 5,513.00p 3.47% Centrica (CNA) 140.90p 3.45% Weir Group (WEIR) 1,859.50p 3.25% Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 42.88p 3.13% Standard Chartered (STAN) 596.40p 2.69% Rentokil Initial (RTO) 426.50p 2.65% Anglo American (AAL) 1,813.20p 2.61%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Airtel Africa (AAF) 97.00p -2.51% London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 8,816.00p -0.99% Ocado Group (OCDO) 534.40p -0.85% Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 318.50p -0.47% Melrose Industries (MRO) 608.00p -0.46% International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 145.90p -0.34% British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,414.50p -0.31% Entain (ENT) 936.20p -0.28% Vodafone Group (VOD) 66.42p -0.23% Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,290.00p -0.15%

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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