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StanChart lifts FTSE 100 but fails to avert weekly losses

Signage for the London Stock Exchange Group is seen outside of offices in Canary Wharf in London

By Shristi Achar A

(Reuters) -Britain's FTSE 100 closed higher Friday, with Standard Chartered in the lead after it announced bumper investor payouts, though weekly performance in the blue-chip index was lacklustre following mixed corporate earnings.

Shares of Standard Chartered PLC jumped 4.9% after the Asia-focused bank rewarded shareholders with dividends and a fresh $1 billion buyback as annual profit rose 18%.

The stock powered a 0.9% rise in FTSE 350 banks index.

"Standard Chartered's results benefited from lower impairments like many of its peers," Matt Britzman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said in a note.

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The bank's outlook for 2024 is a smidge lower than analysts had priced in but the medium-term guidance up to 2026 shows promising signs, Britzman added.

The FTSE 100 index edged up 0.3% on Friday but posted marginal weekly losses as mixed earnings in the region and receding bets of early interest rate cuts from global central banks dented optimism.

Money markets are now largely pricing in the first rate cut from the Bank of England in August, compared with June for the U.S. Federal Reserve. [0#BOEWATCH]

Contrary to some solid economic data this week, a survey on Friday showed British consumer sentiment fell for the first time in four months in February as households took a gloomier view of their recent personal finances and the broader economic outlook.

Barclays was flat after a U.S. judge said the British bank must face part of a proposed class action by shareholders over its sale of $17.7 billion more debt than regulators had allowed.

The mid-cap FTSE 250 lost 0.4%, led by a 4.2% drop in Domino's Pizza Group after Barclays downgraded the stock to "equal weight" from "overweight".

(Reporting by Shristi Achar A and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala, Eileen Soreng and David Gregorio)