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LONDON: London’s FTSE 100 fell on Friday, dragged by heavyweight energy and banking stocks, with investors weighing the effects of inflation growth and a rise in global cases of COVID-19.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 eased 0.2%, but the index was set to post its third straight weekly gain on support from strong corporate earnings.

HSBC Holdings, BP and Royal Dutch Shell were among the top drags on the FTSE 100 on Friday.

Oil stocks, however, were set to be the top gainers this week, up 3.9%.

London Stock Exchange Group jumped 4.3% to the top of the FTSE 100 after it reported a rise of 4.6% in revenue in the first half of 2021, although it warned about a pick-up in costs in the second part of the year.

“This year’s IPO boom has helped boost the fortunes of the London Stock Exchange group, with new issues of shares pushing up equity revenues,” wrote Susannah Streeter, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“London may still pale in comparison to New York in the scale of new listings, but it is making steady progress in attracting bigger names.”

The FTSE 100 index has recovered nearly 10% so far this year and is set to end its best week since June on robust earnings and dovish central bank policies, but a spike in inflation and higher COVID-19 cases have raised worries about the recovery.

British house prices rose in July after falling in June as demand for bigger homes following pandemic lockdowns helped to soften the impact of a reduced tax break for buyers, mortgage lender Halifax said. However, homebuilder stocks dropped 0.5%.

The domestically focussed mid-cap index fell 0.4%.

Outsourcer Capita inched 0.1% higher after it said it was on track to deliver organic revenue growth in 2021 as it swung to a first-half profit on strict cost controls and several new contracts.

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