Cable & Wireless boosts FTSE

Talks of a possible break-up at Cable & Wireless saw shares in the telecoms group surge by more than 4% today.

Talks of a possible break-up at Cable & Wireless saw shares in the telecoms group surge by more than 4% today.

The stock topped the blue-chip risers’ board with a gain of 8p to 189.2p after Citigroup suggested that a separation of its UK and international operations looked like the most logical step for the firm as a turnaround at its UK division gathered pace.

In a bullish day for the wider market, the FTSE 100 Index was ahead 53.4 points at 6472.1 by mid-morning with miners adding force to the advance.

Antofagasta lifted 13.5p to 545.25p, while Xstrata climbed 66p to 2672p.

International Power rose by almost 2%, or 7.75p, to 434p after a broker upgrade from Lehman Brothers, which highlighted the group as its preferred stock in the UK electricity sector.

Pubs group Punch Taverns was also on the front foot ahead of its annual results tomorrow, with analysts forecasting a strong set of figures from the firm. The stocks was up 23p at 1293p.

Meanwhile, Scottish & Newcastle led the handful of Footsie fallers with a slide of 1%, or 7p to 618p, as it gave back some of its recent gains following a raft of takeover speculation.

InterContinental Hotels joined it on the losers’ board after Credit Suisse downgraded the stock citing concerns regarding the impact of the weaker US dollar on earnings. The group was 5p lower at 1218p.

In the FTSE 250 Index, engineering group Tomkins lifted 7p to 269.5p ahead of a trading update later this week, while fibres and plastics group Filtrona jumped more than 6%, or 17.25p to 298.25p, after it reported strong growth in the first quarter of the year.

And PartyGaming benefited from an upbeat trading statement from rival and possible merger partner 888 Holdings. The Party Poker owner lifted 1p to 51.5p, while 888 gained 4p to 123.5p.

Ends

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