By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
Carnival cruises higher; pound loses steam
LONDON (MarketWatch)--U.K. stocks fell Friday and notched a weekly loss, as energy and mining shares came under pressure.
The FTSE 100 fell 0.6% to 6,855.02, a fourth consecutive decline. The blue-chips index ended the week down by 2.4%, its third loss in four weeks.
The heavily weighted natural-resources group traded in the red, alongside a fall in oil and metals prices, although most prices for resources had been set for weekly gains. Shares of miners Randgold Resources Ltd. and Anglo American PLC each gave up 2.5%.
Oil producer BG Group PLC fell 0.5% and Royal Dutch Shell PLC dropped 1.3%. Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday it plans to cut about 250 jobs (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/royal-dutch-shell-to-cut-250-north-sea-jobs-2015-03-26-9103294) in its U.K. North Sea business, highlighting overhauls undertaken by the industry in the wake of the oil-price slide.
Antofagasta PLC pulled back 0.8% as the copper producer said it's suspended operations at three mines because of heavy rains in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. The three affected mines are expected to make up 49% of the company's estimated 2015 production, said Jefferies in a note. "While production operations have been temporarily suspended, some processing of stockpiled material has been possible," Jefferies said.
Advancers: But Carnival PLC shares shot to the top of the FTSE 100, with a 7.2% surge coming after Carnival Corp. (>> Carnival Corp) posted quarterly earnings that surpassed Wall Street's expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/carnival-shares-rally-as-profit-beats-expectations-2015-03-27).
EasyJet PLC climbed 1.1% following an upgrade to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital Markets. "To us, beyond [first-half] trading...we think the summer intra-Europe airline outlook has become more positive," said analysts.
Shares of British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group also gained, rising 1.2%.
Elsewhere, Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney told a conference in Frankfurt he sees the next move in U.K. interest rates to be higher, instead of lower. The pound (GBPUSD) had risen to an intraday high of $1.4922 against the dollar following the remarks, but sterling eventually drifted back toward late Thursday's level around $1.4883.
The benchmark interest rate has stood at 0.5% for the past six years.