Footsie rebounds on takeover action

Market Report

FOOTSIE ACHIEVED a 150-point rebound as corporate activity reappeared and overseas developments looked more encouraging.

New York, up more than 200 as London closed on expectations that President Clinton will survive, was a major influence. The Japanese move to reshape its banking system, signs that Russia could be moving towards stability and indications that Helmut Kohl may cling to power in Germany were other favourable factors.

But there is nothing like a round of old-fashioned takeover activity to inspire a stock market, particularly one bedevilled by fears that the good days are over.

Much of the bid action occurred in two heavily depressed sectors, oils and textiles. British-Borneo's pounds 900m-plus merger with Hardy Oil & Gas coincided with Courtaulds Textiles' takeover talks with troubled Claremont Garments and a move to take woollen group John Haggas back into private ownership.

Hardy flared 15p to 180.5p but BriBorneo lost 32p to 209.5p. Claremont rose 6p to 22.5p and Haggas 15.5p to 56.5p. Courtaulds shaded 3p to 162p.

Alvis, the armoured vehicles group, and the much bigger GKN confirmed weekend speculation of a possible new grouping. The most likely development is Alvis buying GKN's armoured side in exchange for shares, with GKN emerging as the major shareholder in the enlarged group. Alvis rose 25p to 197.5p (after 208). GKN firmed 6p to 683p.

With the market still football crazy the "funny old game" remained in the centre circle. Tottenham Hotspur gained 13p to 85p after it transpired that chairman Alan Sugar had turned down an 80p-a-share offer from ENIC, up 5p to 150p. Sheffield United, a division one club, scored the day's best gain, 61.9 per cent to 34p, after admitting it was in talks which could lead to private investors pumping cash into the business.

The rush for football shares, sparked off by Rupert Murdoch's descent on Manchester United, provided further strength for Leicester City, up 7.5p to 44.5p; Southampton Leisure, 7.5p to 64.5p, and Burnden Leisure (Bolton Wanderers), 4.5p to 23.5p.

Newcastle United, said to be talking to a range of media groups, jumped 18p to 107p and ManU, with Salomon Smith Barney threatening to produce a rival bidder to the Murdoch-controlled BSkyB offer, rose a further 6.5p to 228p.

Vaux, one of the market's most bewhiskered bid stocks, frothed 11.5p higher to 289p as it called time on its brewing side to concentrate on its hotels and higher-margin pubs.

Footsie was in positive mood from the start, encouraged by New York's Friday recovery. When transatlantic shares resumed their advance it threw off any hesitancy, ending at 5,268.6. A number of big programme trades helped to swell turnover and were generally more buy than sell exercises. The supporting shares, however, were left behind. The mid cap index gained 39.4 to 4,736.7 and the small cap could manage only a 6 advance to 2,094.

Underperforming Reuters, helped along by Warburg Dillon Read, jumped 42p to 790p and Hays was lifted 67p to 882p by its strong results.

Pearson rose 40p to 1,090p after BT.AlexBrown said the media group had made a "flying start" to the year and put a 12-month target of 1,120p on the shares.

What appeared to be a rogue late trade - 593 shares at 790p - boosted building materials group RMC and the shares closed at 790p, up 83p. Most of the late afternoon trades were around 740p.

Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch giant, firmed 11p to 550p ahead of London meetings with analysts next week; US presentations are due in a few weeks. Hillsdown, splitting into three, is another holding briefings. The shares shaded 2p to 131.5p.

Jarvis Hotels, a shade firmer at 115p, was also holding investment meetings. The market expects profits of around pounds 34m (pounds 31.5m).

Vodafone, reflecting recent investment meetings and bid hopes, jumped 37p to 804p, and Norwich Union was another inspired by expectations of corporate action, improving 38p to 467p.

Ahead of results today, the pub chain JD Wetherspoon dipped 10p to 167.5p; Thomson Travel fell 5.5p to 135p on its maiden figures.

Ladbroke cantered 15.75p to 240p. A monopolies decision on the betting and hotel group's takeover of the Coral betting shops from Bass is due this week. Bass was one of the few blue chips to give ground, off 18p to 817p on worries about its hotel spread. Imperial Chemical Industries was another, easing 11p to 555p on Merrill Lynch caution.

Peterhouse, a construction group, hardened 2p to 82.5p after Williams de Broe calculated a sum-of-the-parts valuation of 180p with a short term target of 120p.

Creighton, the toiletries group, made a slippery return. Suspended at 23.5p while it attempted to take over the Potter & Moore toiletries group, the shares traded at 8p.

SEAQ VOLUME: 922 million

SEAQ TRADES: 62,608

GILTS INDEX: n/a ALAN SUGAR may be immersed in the affairs of the takeover bid candidate Tottenham Hotspur, where he is chairman, but he is taking time out to meet electronics analysts in connection with his original operation. As chairman of the Amstrad electronics equipment group he plans to hold an investment meeting later this month. The shares firmed 1.25p to 29p; a few months ago they were 58.5p.

COULD A rival bid appear for Robert Walters, the recruitment group. Interestingly the rival PSD operation has quietly lifted its Walters stake to 1.79 per cent through Salomon Smith Barney. Since a US group made what is in effect a share exchange offer the value of the bid has slumped and Walters shares have fallen from approaching 400p to 306p. They have been as high as 574.5p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Bianca Miller in the final of The Apprentice
tvMark Wright and Bianca Miller fight for Lord Sugar's investment
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
News
i100
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
video
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick