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The FTSE (just barely) hangs on to 7,300 but ends the day lower

The UK's bluechip index finished the week just above 7,..

The UK's bluechip index finished the week just above 7,300 after a steep drop late in the day.

The FTSE 100 index ended down 0.36 per cent, or 26.18 points, at 7,300.49.

"A 2.2 per cent, $64 per barrel-hitting surge from Brent crude, and subsequent gains from BP and Shell, helped the FTSE ignore the RBS-led losses in the banking sector that had given it a headache this morning," said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.

"This morning’s solid manufacturing PMI has not been enough to prevent a spot of end-of-week profit taking in cable, which has given the 100 index some space to bounce," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

The pound was almost flat at 1.3521 against the US dollar at the time of writing, but it fell below 1.35 earlier in the day.

In the US, the Dow hit a speed bump on its way to a new fresh high as Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to a charge of making false statements to the FBI earlier this year.

"US markets sold off sharply after the news broke that Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser (NSA) chief is expected to plead guilty in relation to the Russia investigation. Mr Flynn will cooperate with the government agencies and could implicate President Trump," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets.

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