Market Report: Blue chips' remarkable run carries Footsie to fresh heights
Friday 30 January 1998
It was, however, the same old story with financials again responsible for much of the action.
The stock market is convinced a mega financial take over bid is being prepared and until the parties emerge into the sunlight is happy to bank on almost any money share which moves.
Even so some of the stories are becoming increasingly bizarre. Yesterday's blockbuster was a bid by Halifax for, wait for it, the Standard Chartered banking group.
The sight of the homespun building society-cum-bank barging into the bazaar of the Far East would prompt most fund managers to throw up their hands in horror.
Yet there was some determined buying of Standard, leaving many convinced a predator could be prepared to take advantage of the collapse in the price since the Asian problems first appeared.
In the summer the shares touched 1,081.5p with many analysts forecasting further headway. They closed at 645p, up 35p.
Twelve years ago Standard saw off a hostile offer from Lloyds TSB when the so-called "white squires" came to its rescue.
Halifax ended up 30p at an 875p peak. At one time, before the Standard bid story took the edge off the advance, the price touched 890p. Hopes of a share buy back, strong trading figures and the Sunday opening experiment were positive influences as still underweight institutions sought stock.
Other financial shares in the limelight included Amvescap, the fund manager, 35p higher at 527p following the take over approach to the Henderson fund management group, and Sun Life & Provincial, the best of the insurers, up 27.75p to 582p.
Prudential Corporation put on 21p to 815p following the surprise decision to calculate its profits on an "achieved" basis. It restated profits since 1995.
Norwich Union was another in demand, hitting a 446.5p peak on talk of a corporate action with Lloyds, the current bidder for all seasons, in the frame.
Johnson Matthey, weak lately on Asian worries, jumped 37p to 514.5p. SBC Warburg feel the fall has been overdone and suggested a target price of 650p.
Allied Domecq was hit by doubts whether it will be able to achieve the much needed alliance with Canadian drinks giant, Seagram. Since the creation of Diageo Allied's drinks operation has looked vulnerable and in need of a partner. Allied fell 18p to 535p; Diageo, hoping to sell its famous Dewar's Scotch whisky brand by March, edged ahead 3p to 550p. Allied is a possible Dewar's buyer.
Reuters, the information group, was ruffled by the outbreak of legal hostilities in the US, falling 28p to 592p. Its Reuters Analytics off- shoot is being investigated to see if it "improperly obtained access to and used information from" its rival Bloomberg.
Railtrack was back on the express line, enjoying the discomfort of London & Continental Railways over its high speed rail link failure. Hopes Railtrack could benefit sent the shares 44p ahead to 935p.
A stronger crude price helped oils higher with British Petroleum managing a 20.5p gain to 804p. Firmer metal prices helped Billiton, up 10.5p to 150.5p; golds modest revival was reflected by gold shares.
Tie Rack, the specialist retailer, slumped 33.5p to 90.5p following a profits warning; Independent Energy, forecasting a break even result against earlier hopes of a pounds 1m profit, lost 11p to 137.5p.
Awaiting possible bid developments Energy Group added 9p to 748p and SmithKline Beecham 11.5p to 786p. Bensons Crisps, which rejected a 40 a share offer, hardened 2p to 40.5p.
Ewart, a property group, shaded to 77.5p after declaring it was in talks with various parties and urged shareholders to reject the offer from Dunloe House. Delyn was unmoved at 114.5p as the merchant banker Dawnay Day took its stake to 12.41 per cent, buying 275,000. Apollo Sales & Leisure, with 23.98 per cent, is pressing for the removal of the chairman, Paul Norman.
Another property group, Olives, gave up 2.5p to 33p after disclosing that talks with English & Overseas Properties had ended. It appeared Olives wanted a cash alternative which E&O would not provide.
Phytopharm, developing drugs from plants, jumped 16.5p to 65p with vague bid talk in the air. In 1996 the shares almost reached 300p.
Ionica gained 4p to 91p after underlining its strong cash position - pounds 170m in the bank - and undertaking a boardroom shuffle.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...