FTSE hits 29-month high

The London market held on to its new-found confidence today as the FTSE 100 Index broke through the 4800 barrier to set a new 29-month high.

The London market held on to its new-found confidence today as the FTSE 100 Index broke through the 4800 barrier to set a new 29-month high.

Falling oil prices and a strong finish to trading in New York on Friday helped the blue-chip index, which stood 6.8 points higher at 4800.7 at mid-morning.

The top flight had earlier been as much as 30 points stronger but fell back as investors took the opportunity to take profits after the recent strong run.

The latest improvement also reflected optimism among investors ahead of a busy week for corporate results.

With Vodafone expected to double its dividend on Tuesday, the heavyweight stock lifted a penny to 142.75p. MmO2 was also up 1p to 106.5p as reports said the company planned to announce its intention to make a maiden dividend payout.

On a negative note, media stocks were under pressure following a negative outlook statement from FTSE 250 Index radio group Chrysalis.

Outside the top flight, Manchester United shares fell by almost 3% after Friday’s dramatic developments at the former Premiership champions.

With potential bidder Malcolm Glazer hit by the withdrawal of his banking team, the FTSE 250 Index stock lost some of its recent takeover strength to fall 7.5p to 278p. United fell by as much as 6% earlier in the session.

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