Rolls-Royce rise helps Footsie shrug off early losses

A hefty 10% share rise by Rolls-Royce is helping London shares to shrug off poor sentiment from overseas markets.

A hefty 10% share rise by Rolls-Royce is helping London shares to shrug off poor sentiment from overseas markets.

Shares in the aero-engine maker have jumped by 19½p to 211p after it announced full-year results and said it was confident of recording earnings growth in 2002.

The rise in Rolls-Royce shares is giving a helping hand to the Footsie index of 100 leading stocks. By mid-morning it us up four points, having shrugged off an earlier fall to stand at 5912.6.

Overnight, American software group Oracle has issued a terse profit warning, blaming the slowdown in the US economy for deteriorating demand, while Fujitsu shocked Japanese investors by saying profits would come in below market expectations.

This poor sentiment put pressure on tech shares in early trading in London but, by mid-morning, confidence in the sector appears to be returning.

Vodafone is up 1½p at 185p; Colt Telecom has risen 24p to £12.10; BT has jumped by 9p to 544p; and Cable & Wireless is up 7½p at 725p.

Telecom equipment groups on the up include Marconi, rising 19½p to 466½p; Spirent, jumping 43p to 424p; and Bookham Technology, up 21p to 507p.

Among the tech stocks, software group Misys is up 23p at 573p; chip designer Arm is up 9½p at 326½p; and handheld computer group Psion has regained some of yesterday's losses, rising 7p to 122p.

Other risers included aerospace and defence group BAE Systems, up 8¼p to 318¼p, after stockbroker Credit Lyonnais upgraded its 12-month target for the group to 379p .

But transport firm Stagecoach has seen more than £200 million wiped off its stock market value after warning that the recent rail disruption will cause profits for the year to fall below expectations. The group, which has a 49.9% stake in Virgin Rail and runs the South West Trains franchise, has seen its shares plunge by 22% to 57p, valuing it at just £766 million.

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