Vodafone forecast fails to cancel out Dow influence on FTSE

Vodafone shares climbed 3% today after the mobile phone giant raised revenues and operating profits guidance for the current financial year.

Vodafone shares climbed 3% today after the mobile phone giant raised revenues and operating profits guidance for the current financial year.

The bullish forecast pushed Vodafone shares up by 5.9p to 187.9p – near to the six-year highs seen from the company a few weeks ago.

Vodafone’s performance proved to be one of the highlights of a lacklustre session for the London market, with the FTSE 100 Index down 11.4 points at 6326.5 by mid-morning. At one point the Footsie slipped 58 pointed as traders reacted to the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s fall below 13,000 for the first time since August.

But the top flight later recovered some of the losses amid predictions that Wall Street could be on course to end its four-day losing streak. The news helped investors overcome reduced chances of an imminent cut in interest rates, following higher than expected inflation numbers.

Mining stocks dominated the fallers board, with companies in the sector giving back gains seen in previous sessions. Antofagasta set the pace with a drop of 26p to 674p while Xstrata fell 116p to 3039p

Elsewhere in the telecoms sector, Cable & Wireless lifted 2%, or 3.6p to 183.6p, after stronger-than-expected half-year earnings.

Daily Mail & General Trust topped the Footsie risers board after Merrill Lynch initiated coverage of the newspaper group with a buy rating. Shares responded with a gain of 4%, or 23.5p to 584.5p.

Barclays was another riser as investors eyed value in the stock following recent heavy falls. The shares were 18p higher at 531p, followed by Royal Bank of Scotland with a gain of 10.25p to 450p.

British Energy shares endured another difficult session after it said the second half of its financial year would be “significantly impacted” by problems at two of its sites. Shares were off 7.5p at 510p, despite half-year earnings growth.

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