Legendary Hanson clings to a place in the top 100; MARKET REPORT

Hanson, a name that dominated the stock market for more than a quarter of a century, is on the verge of losing its cherished blue chip Footsie status. As the market closed shares of the once-feared predator were clinging to a 2p gain at 301.5p, probably just high enough to avoid the indignity of relegation.

Compass, the contract catering group split from Grand Metropolitan, is the main Hanson challenger. If it had held its recent 742.5p peak it would have leap-frogged the old star. But indications Accor, the French leisure giant intended to raise pounds 260m by selling half its 21.5 per cent stake, undermined sentiment at a crucial time.

The Hanson under threat is, of course, a pale shadow of its former self. Its creator, the legendary Lord Hanson, admitted the conglomerate concept had past its sell-by date when he launched a four-way demerger. Two of the constituents, Energy and Imperial Tobacco, have already barged into Footsie. The rump of the business, the Hanson building materials group, will, therefore, always be a blue chip struggler although a round of old-style acquisitions would help its index survival.

In the group's heyday take-overs were meat and drink to Lord Hanson. He put through a series of spectactular deals, culminating in an unsuccessful campaign against Imperial Chemical Industries which, among other things, led to the flotation of the Zeneca drugs group.

Argos, the catalogue stores chain, could, however, be a Footsie casualty following the latest meeting of the index's steering committee. It is likely to be replaced by British Land.

Equities failed to hold best levels but ended a rousing session with yet another record under their collective belts. Footsie rose 6.9 points (after 28.9) to 4,444.3 with the supporting FTSE 250 index edging ahead to 4,729.4. Turnover was a heady 1.1 billion-plus.

Glaxo Wellcome's rampant progress continued with a 36.5p advance to 1,154p. Besides the wave of US support the drugs giant had the satisfaction of obtaining Swedish approval for another migraine treatment, Naramig. Zeneca's in-line results left the shares 42p off at 1,860.5p. Glaxo's strength rekindled thoughts the drugs giant could be flexing its muscles for a big swoop and that Zeneca could be the target.

Scotia was the drug sector's big casualty. Failure to secure approval for Tarabetic, its diabetic drug prospect, sent the shares crashing 135p to 435p. In May they were 806p and early this year were riding comfortably above 700p.

Shield Diagnostic, which plans to host a City investment presentation later this month, stretched a further 38p higher to 655p.

Cookson, ahead of an investment dinner, gained 3p to 244p. Stockbroker Henderson Crosthwaite last night hosted the event at London's Savoy Hotel.

Vodafone, making presentations, was 4p down at 292p and Standard Chartered, the banking group, fell 19.5p to 873.5p after meetings in Scotland. Williams, buying Chubb Security, edged ahead 2.5p to 335.5p in response to institutional meetings.

Thistle Hotels gained 3p to 188.5p amid talk of an acquisition that could have a significant impact on the group's performance.

Imperial Chemical Industries enjoyed a 13.5p gain to 752p on the back of an upbeat statement from paint maker Kalon, 7p higher at 135p.

BOC, the chemicals group, slipped 16.5p to 1,016p as NatWest Securities described the shares as a "trading sell" and EMI, the showbiz group, put on 27.5p to 1,225p on Panmure Gordon support.

The oil majors gave ground but takeover hopes continued to spur some of the medium-sized players with British Borneo Petroleum Syndicate up a dashing 67.5p to a 1,425p. Barr & Wallace Arnold, the car dealer, advanced 10.5p to 249p after confirming speculation it might sell its leisure side, largely hotels and coaches.

Rank recently unloaded its coach division in a management buyout and if a merger of the two coach/holiday groups is planned it would form the most powerful force of its kind in the country.

Redrow, the builder, lost 5.5p to 169.5p after chairman Steven Morgan said he intended to sell 54 million shares, cutting his stake to 35 per cent.

Fibernet, a data networking specialist, rolled out a 39.5p gain to 184.5p after fixing a partnership with a leading Asian telecommunications group, Telstra. Under the deal Fibernet intends to use the Telstra network to supplement its main high-speed communications service.

people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Ricky Gervais performs stand-up
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Business Anaylst

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Technical Software Consultant (Excel, VBA, SQL, JAVA, Oracle)

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering