Banks lead FTSE gains, Lloyds gets CEO from rival

* FTSE up 0.2 percent

* Banks rise, Lloyds reveals competitor’s UK head as new CEO

* Retailers slide as Next reports falling sales

By David Brett

LONDON, Nov 3 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain’s top share index edged
into positive territory at noon on Wednesday, led by financials
as Lloyds (LLOY.L: ) poached Santander UK’s head as its new CEO,
while retailers toiled after Next (NXT.L.: ) reported lower sales.

The FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was up 9.57 points, or 0.2 percent, at
5,767.00 by 1144 GMT, having added 1.1 percent on Tuesday ahead
of the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting due
later on Wednesday.

Lloyds, up 3.4 percent, poached Antonio Horta-Osorio, head
of Santander’s (SAN.MC: ) fast-growing British division, to be its
next chief executive in a coup that dealt a blow to its Spanish
rival. [ID:nLDE6A20DT]

“Spreadbetters like Lloyds as a speculative short-term buy
after bringing on a new CEO from Banco Santander. Mid-to-long
term fundamentals are not there to support it though, so the
volumes have been thin,” Chris Purdy, trader at Spreadex, said.

Lloyds had fallen 3.2 percent on Tuesday on worries over its
bad loans after reporting results. [ID:nLDE6A00YY]

HSBC (HSBA.L: ) rose 1.6 percent with its update due on
Friday, while Standard Chartered (STAN.L: ) was up 1.9 percent.

Barclays (BARC.L: ) added 0.1 percent ahead of its update on
Nov. 9, while Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ), due to issue an
update on Friday, was down 0.4 percent.

Car insurer Admiral (ADML.L: ) rose 4.7 percent after saying
it was on course to meet profit forecasts for the year after
third-quarter turnover rose more than 50 percent.
[ID:nLDE6A20BC]

Experian (EXPN.L: ) climbed 1.6 percent with analysts pointing
to favourable political developments in the United States where
the credit-checking company has significant exposure.

RETAILER’S SALES SAG

Retailers bore the brunt of bearish sentiment after number
two fashion retailer Next (NXT.L: ), down 3.6 percent, reported
falling sales at its stores but maintained guidance for
full-year profit supported by a strong third-quarter performance
from its home shopping business. [ID:nLDE6A111J]

Marks & Spencer (MKS.L: ) fell 1.9 percent with the retailer
pressured by a bearish note from RBS in which it reiterated a
“sell” rating.

Tesco (TSCO.L: ), Morrison Supermarkets (MRW.L: ), and J
Sainsbury (SBRY.L: ) fell 0.8-1.4 percent.

British aerospace electronics group Cobham fell as much as
10 percent after a disappointing third-quarter update and
downbeat outlook hit by U.S. contract delays. [ID:nLDE6A20D5]

Mining (.FTNMX1770: ) and energy (.FTNMX0530: ) stocks were
mixed, as investors took positions ahead of the announcement
from the United States Federal Reserve policy committee.

“We have seen traders close out some of their positions in
the key energy firms and miners … with most investors eyeing
tonight’s all important Fed decision,” Giles Watts, Head of
Equities, City Index, said.

U.S. stock index futures (SPc1: ) (DJc1: ) (NDc1: ) pointed to a
slightly firmer opening on Wall Street, with traders expecting
the Fed to announce a further $500 billion of quantitative
easing.

BP (BP.L: ) performed strongly, gaining 2.2 percent, lifted as
Goldman Sachs upgraded the oil company to “buy” from “neutral”
on the basis of strong third-quarter results on Tuesday, the
dividend outlook and an attractive valuation.
(Additional Graphics supplied by Scott Barber; Editing by Dan
Lalor)

Banks lead FTSE gains, Lloyds gets CEO from rival