The FTSE 100 closed up 1.5% Friday as banking and oil stocks performed well, with NatWest being the session's biggest riser--up 7.1%--after the bank confirmed Paul Thwaite's permanent appointment to the role of chief executive officer and reported its biggest annual profit since 2007. Lloyds Bank closed up 3.9% and was the day's third best-performing stock. Oil stocks also rose as Brent crude gained 0.1% to $82.94 a barrel. "The Brent crude oil price has risen on nine of the past ten trading days as investors mull over the situation in the Middle East amid supply concerns," IG analyst Axel Rudolph writes. Miners also gained, with Antofagasta being the day's second-best performer, closing up 5.7% at 95.50 pence. Airtel Africa was the day's biggest faller, down 3.2%, followed by Vodafone and Entain, down 1.4% and 0.6% respectively.


NatWest Group Names Paul Thwaite as Permanent CEO

NatWest appointed interim Chief Executive Officer Paul Thwaite to the role on a permanent basis, formally replacing Alison Rose who resigned in July after discussing the closure of Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage's account with a journalist.


Segro Narrows Loss on Higher Rents, Demand; Expects Future Growth

Segro said pretax loss narrowed on rent growth and strong occupier demand, hiked its dividend and said it was well-placed for further growth.


NatWest Expects Income to Slip After 4Q Beat

NatWest guided for income to decline this year after posting fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations.


Fiske Resumes Dividend Payments After Profit Jumps

Fiske said its pretax profit and revenue significantly rose, and resumed dividend payments.


XP Power Expects Revenue Fall Below Market Expectations

XP Power said it expects a shortfall in revenue in 2024, leading the outlook for the year below market expectations, but that it remained confident in the group's strong mid-term performance.


TBC Bank Profit Drops on Higher Costs; Lifts Dividend

TBC Bank said its fourth-quarter pretax profit fell on higher costs, but rose in the year overall, and raised its dividend payout.


Luxury Sector Could See an Acceleration in 2025

1212 GMT - The European luxury sector could bottom out this year and see an acceleration in 2025, Bernstein analysts write in a research note. The industry has been grappling with slowdown trends in sales growth after a postpandemic boom on luxury spending that came to an end last year. "The fundamental question for 2024 seems to be how much slower demand will be," they say, noting that, at this point, they anticipate 7% market growth for the year. Updates from major companies in the sector such as Hermes, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Richemont seem to have reassured investors, the analysts say. (

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