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RBS shares shed 6% on half-year results

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Shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland dropped as much as 6% after the bank reported its half year results and announced its new CEO.

This morning RBS confirmed that Ross McEwan, who was widely tipped for the job, will take over the top role from Stephen Hester in October.

RBS shares rallied 5% on Thursday after reports McEwan would get the job and closed above 333p yesterday as the market awaited the news.

However, the share price slumped below 313p this morning, despite the bank reporting a return to profit in the first half of the year, as investors cashed in their holdings following the results.

Banking stocks were among the most traded in the blue-chip index this morning, following Lloyds’ results yesterday which revealed hefty profits, and speculation over the Barclays rights issue.

RBS shares were the top fallers in the FTSE 100 by 9.17am, followed closely by William Hill and precious metal miners Fresnillo and Randgold, which continued their decline on the back of falling commodity prices.

The top gains in the FTSE this morning were seen by International Airline Group (IAG), which reported a swing to profit, and Weir Group, whose shares were up 2.8% despite a reported dip in profits.

Elsewhere in Europe, Italy’s FTSE MIB dipped 0.47% following the news former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced for tax fraud, placing the tentative coalition government in danger.

However, other European markets were trading near their two-month highs, according to Reuters, in anticipation of positive US jobs numbers.

In Japan, the Nikkei was lifted by dovish sentiment from the US Federal Reserve, which has committed to keeping QE in place for the time being. The index was up 3.3% to 14,466.


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