Around the World's Markets: London

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SHARES CLOSED at their day's high, pulled up by Vodafone's merger with AirTouch. Footsie charged 182.9 points higher to 6,123.9 in busy trading; supporting shares also made headway.

Telecoms led the surge, with talk of other deals sending Orange bounding 147.5p to 1,071.5p and Colt Telecom 145p to 1,215p. But BAe fell 25.5p to 493.5p after confirming talks with GEC, up 8p at 577.5p, which could result in the takeover of GEC's Marconi.