* FTSE up 0.2 pct to 6,456.24 points
* On track for 6th weekly loss, worst streak since 2008
* ARM rallies on Google order speculation
* RSA hit by profit warning and CEO's departure
* Fed tapering uncertainty pegging back equities
By Toni Vorobyova
LONDON, Dec 13 Britain's blue-chip share index
snapped a three-day losing streak on Friday, led by ARM Holdings
on speculation the chip-maker may secure a new contract
from U.S. internet firm Google.
Despite the small gains on Friday, the FTSE 100 was
still on track for its sixth consecutive weekly loss, its worst
run since 2008, as concerns about a tightening of U.S. monetary
policy and a stronger pound clouded the outlook for the many
globally exposed companies in the British index.
Clipping the index's wings was insurer RSA, which
slumped 17.8 percent to its lowest level since around mid-2005
after its chief executive resigned following its latest profit
ARM led the rebound on Friday, rising 4.1 percent, with
traders citing a Bloomberg report suggesting that Google is
considering making its own server processors using technology
from the British chip maker.
"If they (Google) do start making their own server chips,
that would put upward pressure on the royalty shipments for ARM
in due course," said Julian Yates, who covers the company for
"It's positive sentiment for the stock."
The FTSE 100 index rose 0.2 percent to 6,456.24
points at 1139 GMT after hitting its lowest level since around
mid-October at 6,434.07 in early deals.
Volume on the stock was already more than five times its
full-day average for the past three months, compared to a third
of the average for the FTSE.
"This is clearly a very disappointing announcement for the
company leading to uncertainty about ongoing profitability,
capital levels, dividends and strategy," said Oriel Securities
analyst Marcus Barnard.
The FTSE 100 is up by around 9 percent since the start of
2013 but has lost ground this week due to lingering uncertainty
over when the U.S. Federal Reserve may scale back its economic
The Fed meets next week, and while most investors still
don't expect it to start tapering its economic stimulus
programme until March next year, some believe it could begin
This uncertainty has led some investors to trim back equity
holdings this month in order to book profits on the year's
The FTSE has also been held back by mining stocks, which
have underperformed due to lingering concerns about a possible
economic slowdown in China.
"The miners haven't performed, and for the FTSE, that's a
big deal," said Toby Campbell-Gray, head of trading at Tavira
Campbell-Gray does not expect the FTSE to make much headway
for the rest of 2013, but sees it rising 10 to 15 percent in
2014 as the UK's economic recovery continues.