FTSE revival continues

Strong commodity prices have ensured the London market remained in positive territory as it sought to recoup losses after last week's correction.

Strong commodity prices have ensured the London market remained in positive territory as it sought to recoup losses after last week's correction.

The Bank of England's decision to keep interest rates on hold at 5.25% added force to the afternoon's dealings with the FTSE 100 Index closing up more than 1%, or 71.2 points at 6227.7.

Miners drove the advance with gains of around 3%, with Antofagasta rising 14.5p to 476p, Kazakhmys up 32p at 1124p and Vedanta Resources lifting 35p to 1249p.

BP was also 8p higher at 525p and Royal Dutch Shell gained 25p to 1675p after oil prices remained near 62 US dollars a barrel.

Investors were also buying shares in Tate & Lyle amid rumours that the sugar and starch company could be the target of takeover interest. Shares were up 14.5p at 562.5p, a rise of nearly 3%.

Royal & Sun Alliance gained 2p to 162.25p after the More Than insurer bettered expectations with full-year results and highlighted its confidence in future prospects by raising its dividend by 35%.

Meanwhile, Associated British Foods led the Footsie fallers with a loss of 6p to 840p as yesterday's TNS grocery sector figures data showed sales had fallen in value over January.

Marks & Spencer followed it down, off 3p at 678p, while Tesco's shed 1.25p to 434.25p, after the figures showed it had lost 0.2% of its market share.

A positive broker note from Citigroup could not save British American Tobacco from further losses as the stock ended 6p lower at 1529p. After a poor performance by tobacco stocks during the week, Gallaher was also among the handful of blue-chip losers after falling 1.5p to 1129p.

Cairn Energy rose 8p to 1607p after the confirmation on Wednesday that it is to lose its place in the FTSE 100 Index and will be replaced by Daily Mail & General Trust, which was unchanged at 912.5p.

Elsewhere in the second tier temporary power provider Aggreko set the pace with a gain of more than 7%, or 33.5p to 484.75p, after underlying profits rose 47% during 2006, and it said it would continue to look at acquisition opportunities in the year ahead.

Shares in HMV were 5.5p higher at 146p ahead of the group's strategic review next week and a new flurry of bid rumours over the stock. Meanwhile, investors were not impressed by Misys' plans to only sell 60% of its Sesame business as the stock fell almost 7%, or 15.75p to 225.25p.

Among other companies reporting results, sportswear firm Umbro rose more than 3%, or 5p to 145p, as it outlined plans to target more of the lucrative Chinese market.

The biggest Footsie risers were Antofagasta up 14.5p at 476p, Man Group ahead 15.75p at 540.25p, Kazakhmys up 32p at 1124p and Vedanta Resources ahead 35p at 1249p.

The biggest fallers were Associated British Foods down 6p at 840p, Marks & Spencer off 3p at 678p, British American Tobacco down 6p at 1529p and Tesco off 1.25p at 434.25p.

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