LONDON -- The FTSE 100 ended the week surprisingly flat, just 6 points up to end the week on 6,490. But on Tuesday, the index of top U.K. stocks rose to a new five-year high of 6,534 points, dipped on Wednesday as low as 6,438, and then recovered on Thursday to a fraction of a point below Tuesday's record. Friday marked the ninth close in a row above the 6,400 level.
Let's review the week's biggest movers on the FTSE.
Wm. Morrison Supermarkets
The price of Wm. Morrison Supermarkets has been falling over the past year, as the company has been losing market share to rivals Tesco and J Sainsbury. But the stock continued its recent reverse this week, gaining 8.3 pence (3.2%) to 271.3 pence -- and it's now up nearly 10% since early March. On Thursday, Morrison's lifted its full-year dividend by 10%, though like-for-like sales were down 2% for the year. And on the same day, we heard news of a potential deal with Internet grocer Ocado to assist Morrison's in launching its own online business.
Aggreko, the supplier of power-generation and temperature-control equipment, enjoyed a boost this week on news of a new contract to supply power in Mozambique. The stock price climbed 110 pence (5.9%) to 1,989 pence after the company announced a deal with two power utilities in the country, to provide power from Aggreko's new power plant at Ressano Garcia as part of the Southern African Power Pool. The plant should go live during the second quarter of 2013.
Legal & General
In a week that saw more mixed fortunes for insurance companies, Legal & General had a good time, seeing its price pick up 6.7 pence (4%) to end Friday at 173.2 pence. RSA Insurance and Aviva have both slashed their final dividends in the past two weeks (albeit from a higher level), but sentiment toward Legal & General is still positive after its 20% dividend increase on March 6.
Rio Tinto suffered this week, with its stock losing 113 pence to end the week at 3,312 pence, as mining stocks in general have been falling. Worries about the price of iron ore, which accounts for nearly 50% of Rio Tinto's business, also weighed heavily. The price is down around 7% over the past 12 months, but it's still up 25% from its low point last summer.
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