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Autonomy slips on missed forecasts but banks lift FTSE

UPBEAT results from <strong>JP Morgan</strong> boosted banks while energy and pharmaceutical stocks also gained, leading Britain&rsquo;s top share index to close at a one-month high, up for a fourth session yesterday.<br /><br />&nbsp;The index was trading in slightly negative territory in early trade but the <strong>JP Morgan</strong> results which were announced around mid-session lifted the FTSE 100 which closed 0.35 per cent, or 15.38 points up at 4,361.84.<br /><br />The index shrugged off weak US factory activity data which hit stocks on Wall Street; the FTSE 100 is up 5.7 per cent on the week and is set for its best weekly performance in four months.<br /><br />Investors will look to second-quarter results from <strong>IBM</strong> and <strong>Google</strong> after US markets close for more clues on the corporate outlook and whether shares can continue their upward trajectory. &ldquo;It all depends on how good the results from IBM and Google are,&rdquo; said Nick Serff, analyst from City Index. &ldquo;The results this week have been good and more positive results should see consolidation of the gains.&rdquo;<br /><br />&nbsp;<strong>Citigroup, General Electric</strong> and <strong>Bank of America</strong> report today. Banks were the biggest driver of gains, continuing the bull run from the last couple of sessions following the results from <strong>JP Morgan. HSBC, Barclays</strong> and <strong>Lloyds Banking Group</strong> added between 0.6 and 1.7 per cent.<br /><br />Among other financials, <strong>Schroders</strong> climbed 3.3 per cent, after <strong>Citigroup</strong> raised the fund firm to &ldquo;buy&rdquo; from &ldquo;sell&rdquo;. Energy stocks were also among stocks in positive ground, with crude oil stable above $61 per barrel. Heavyweights <strong>Royal Dutch Shell</strong> and <strong>BP</strong> added 0.5 and 0.9 per cent respectively.<br /><br />&nbsp;Oil services company <strong>Petrofac</strong> was the top riser, gaining 5.3 per cent after it said its <strong>Petrofac Emirates</strong> unit, in partnership with <strong>GS E&amp;C,</strong> was awarded a $2.1bn Abu Dhabi integrated gas development contract.<br /><br />But mining firms took the most points off the index as doubts still hovered over the demand outlook for metals. <strong>Anglo American, Kazakhmys</strong> and <strong>Rio Tinto</strong> lost between 0.6 and 2.3 per cent.<br /><br />UK software firm <strong>Autonomy</strong> was the biggest faller on the index, down 8.6 per cent, as analysts said although the firm reported second-quarter revenue which was in line with expectations, it missed a number of top-end estimates, and the market expected more from its outlook.<br /><br />&nbsp;Risk appetite, while slightly improved, was still fragile, leading investors to move into defensive pharmaceutical and tobacco stocks.