Footsie surges upwards

The FTSE-100 Index has surged upwards, making an upbeat start to the week.

The FTSE-100 Index has surged upwards, making an upbeat start to the week.

By the close, the Footsie was close to its high point for the session, up 174.3 points at 5576.6, as Friday's mini-revival continued.

Telecoms in particular were doing well, with Cable & Wireless close to the top of the Footsie risers board with a 11% rise.

It had been boosted by a proposed deal to sell its 52.5% stake in Optus, Australia's second largest telecommunications company. The offer from Singapore Telecom should be worth around £4 billion to C&W and enable it to concentrate on its Global business.

The London-based company saw its share price lift 49p at 493p following the announcement of the deal.

Vodafone, whose Pacific subsidiary pulled out of the running for Optus, picked up 11¾p at 206p. Other telecom stocks dialling in rises included Colt, ahead 59p at 889p, Telewest up 2p at 119p, and Energis, 23p stronger at 317p.

A number of tech stocks were joining the revival, including Logica, up 86p at £11.62, Dimension Data, 22p stronger at 332p, and computer services group CMG, up 49p at 680½p.

Banks were also helping pull the market higher, with Standard Chartered up 65p at 840p, Barclays ahead 104p at £20, Royal Bank of Scotland up 100p at £14.45, HSBC up 26p at 825p and Lloyds TSB 16p stronger at 655p.

Casualties included tobacco group BAT, off 22½p at 507p, BAE Systems down 7½p at 320p and Scottish and Southern Energy, off 9p at 612p. Also Brewers Scottish and Newcastle were off 8½p at 517½p, Bass was down 7½p at 642½p and South African Breweries were off 1½p at 470½p.

Meanwhile fashion retailer New Look announced that sales had been "weaker than expected". Shares slumped 17%, or 10½p, to 50½p, following the downbeat trading statement by the FTSE-350 company.

Electronic goods designer Vtech also suffered, diving 42% - off 20p at 27½p - after saying it expected to report a substantial full-year loss - hit by its telecoms business which had suffered substantial losses.

However, consumer products group Unilever lifted 9p at 490p after pleasing the City with a pre-close period trading statement.

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