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London investors await G20 meeting

Investors in the British stock market, which hit a 10-month high this week, will this week look forward to the Group of 20 finance ministers’ meeting in London amid a dearth of company results.

The benchmark FTSE-100 index of leading shares ended the week up 58.01 points, or 1.20 percent, to 4,908.9 points from the previous Friday.
On Tuesday it had closed at a 10-month high of 4,916.80 points following the release of better-than-expected data on the US housing market and US consumer confidence, which raised hopes of an economic recovery.
The London market will begin trading next week on Tuesday owing to a long holiday weekend in Britain.

“This coming week sees the trading week cut short by a bank holiday,” said Hargreaves Lansdown equities analyst Keith Bowman.
“On the economic front, the focus is likely to turn to the latest G20 meeting,” he added.

The G20 finance meeting, held before a summit of the Group of 20 biggest economies in September, will discuss the crucial issue of bankers’ bonuses.
The two-day London gathering kicks off next Friday.

Britain’s financial watchdog this week waded into an international row over bank bonuses ahead of the main G20 summit, saying it would support moves to impose extra taxes in an attempt to curb excessive pay.

Excessive risk-taking, resulting in massive bonuses for bankers, has been blamed for helping spark the global financial crisis that led to multi-billion dollar government bailouts of world banks.
Prior to the holiday weekend meanwhile, London stocks were boosted by news that the British recession was not as deep as expected in the second quarter.

Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.7 percent in the second quarter of 2009 compared with the first three months of the year, official data showed.
That was a modest improvement on the previous estimate of a 0.8-percent contraction.

The Office for National Statistics said the economy shrank 5.5 percent in the second quarter on a year-on-year basis, which was also a slight upgrade, but remained the biggest drop since records began in 1955.


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