FTSE 100 ends higher; Lloyds closes up 7%

01.05.2015 19:51

Holly Ellyatt | Matt Clinch

U.K. equities closed higher on Friday, with the majority of European markets and many international markets, closed for the Labour Day holiday.

Lloyds up 4%

The benchmark FTSE 100 index closed 0.3 percent higher after a 7.5 percent rise in shares of Lloyds, making it the best performer on the FTSE 100. The bank reported a 21 percent rise in underlying pre-tax profit in the first quarter.

Read MoreLloyds Q1 pre-tax profit slips on TSB loss

Miners Anglo American, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Antofagasta were also among the best performers on the index. The basic resources sector is heavily exposed to the Chinese economy and better than expected Chinese data overnight helped the firms post modest gains

Anglo American surged over 5 percent, while Rio Tinto was nearly 5 percent higher.

U.S. stocks traded higher on Friday, rebounding from Thursday’s selloff, as investors kept an eye on higher Treasury yields and economic reports.

Many markets closed

Many financial markets are closed across the world today for International Workers’ Day holiday, also known as Labour Day or May Day. The U.K. has a public holiday on Monday, but its financial markets were open on Friday.

“Traders are struggling to find much enthusiasm for equities as the last session of the week gets underway,” Tony Cross, a market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said in a research note.

“Wariness over what happens with next week’s (U.K.) general election and also the fact that Greece is now by all accounts hurtling towards bankruptcy may well dictate that we see more money coming off the table in the near-term.”

Read MoreUK election: Why the world is watching

In the U.K., April manufacturing data came in below expectations and failed to match March’s figure. Sterling fell slightly after the data release.

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