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Lloyds shares fall after Government stake sale

The £4.2 billion sale of another tranche of the Government's holding in Lloyds Banking Group triggered a big fall in the company's share price today.

The stock slipped back towards the 75.5p sale price secured from institutional investors for 24% of the Treasury's remaining shares in the bank.

Lloyds was down 3.2p to 75.8p, a fall of 4%, in a session when the FTSE 100 Index was 15.4 points higher at 6620.3.

The other major focus of the session was on the energy sector after SSE pledged to freeze household bills until January 2016.

Shares rose 22p to 1520p as the company also outlined plans for more operational efficiencies and pledged to simplify its focus onto core assets.

The update comes as the energy sector prepares to face the result of a regulatory probe which is widely expected to result in it being referred for a full-scale two-year competition investigation.

Shares in British Gas owner Centrica moved in the opposite direction, down 5.3p at 327.2p.

Elsewhere, shares in floor coverings retailer Carpetright were down 8% or 44.5p to 542p after it warned on profits for the third time in six months.

It said underlying profits for the year to the end of April will be in the range of £3.5 million to £5.5 million, against £9.7 million a year earlier.

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