UPDATE 2-FTSE 100 falls as high yields weigh, but marks best week in 2 months

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-FTSE 100 falls as high yields weigh, but marks best week in 2 months
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* FTSE 100 up 2.3% this week

* House price growth slows in February

* Aggreko rises after backing buyout offer

* London Stock Exchange Group slumps on Refinitiv deal costs

* FTSE 100 down 0.3%, FTSE 250 off 1.6% (Updates to close)

By Shivani Kumaresan and Amal S

March 5 (Reuters) - London's FTSE 100 ended down on Friday as concerns around U.S. bond yields and sluggishness in the British housing market outweighed strength in energy stocks and weakness in the pound.

But the blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE logged its best weekly gain in nearly two months as investors bet on an eventual reopening and recovery of the economy as COVID-19 vaccinations gained momentum.

The index ended 0.3% down, with industrials and consumer discretionary stocks, including Melrose Industries MRON.L , BAE Systems BAES.L , International Consolidated Airlines Group ICAG.L , and Ashtead Group AHT.L weighing the most.

Further losses were capped by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L and BP BP.L , while export-oriented stocks benefited from weakness in the pound. O/R

"I think the market is overall still distracted by the higher bond yields and right now that seems to dissipate the strength of Brent crude ," said Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spreadex.

"The inflationary fears are sort of in the future rather than at present, so it'll be interesting to see how the markets react to the U.S inflation figures and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey's talks in next week."

British house price growth slowed for a third month running in February, a further sign that the pandemic boom in Britain's housing market was fading, mortgage lender Halifax said. domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index .FTMC fell 1.6%, dragged down by consumer discretionary and real estate stocks. But it logged small gains for the week.

In company news, equipment rental company Aggreko AGGK.L rose 0.7%, as it backed a 2.32 billion pound ($3.22 billion) buyout offer from private equity firms TDR Capital LLP and I Squared Capital. Stock Exchange Group LSEG.L plummeted 14.4% to the bottom of the blue-chip index, even after announcing a 7% dividend increase as analysts grew skittish over costs associated with its $27 billion acquisition of data and analytics company Refinitiv.

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