Market Report: BT's 'buried treasure' raises hopes

THE STOCK MARKET dialled into a story that BT is on the verge of clinching a major deal to develop its European interests. Details, it is thought, could emerge at an investment presentation scheduled for Friday.

BT's shares rose 6p to 659p, an unspectacular display considering blue chips enjoyed their best performance for more than six weeks.

Footsie, largely on the back of New York, rose 90.5 points to rest above 6,000 for the first time since mid-April. Supporting indices were in fine form, with the mid cap hitting a new peak.

BT's presentation will concentrate on its European ambitions. Many expect it to flesh out the talk with details of a strategic alliance, with either a Continental or even American group.

The market has been hoping for a BT initiative since its American adventure came to grief when it was outbid for MCI. Henderson Crosthwaite believes BT has "buried treasure" tucked away and the shares could hit 730p.

The composition of Footsie was also the subject of debate as the market deliberated the likely changes which will be decided tomorrow by the FTSE steering committee.

It could be quite a shake-up with three newcomers barging into the exclusive 100 strong club. Stagecoach, the bus and train group up 33.5p to 1,462.5p, looks a candidate; so does WPP, the advertising group which once teetered on the brink of disaster. It held at 423p.

Daily Mail & General Trust is another possibility. Its "A" shares rose 30p to 3,105p although the voting shares slipped 15p to 3,095p.

Next, up 13p to 575p, and Wolseley, off 7.5p at 405.5p, are in danger. Health group Nycomed Amersham, the other threatened with relegation, put on a spirited display in a late bid to survive.

The ordinary shares rose 69p to 2,059p and the non-voters led the Footsie leader board with a 130p jump to 2,030p. The group, indulging in a capital reconstruction which will give votes to all shares, was helped by bullish comments from SG Securities. Other investment houses, such as Merrill Lynch and Panmure Gordon, have made positive noises lately.

There was at one time a danger that Nycomed's big Norwegian shareholding would jeopardise its Footsie role but that danger has now been averted.

Diageo, the spirits giant, was in form, reflecting an investment presentation at its Miami Burger King headquarters. The Grand Metropolitan/Guinness group rose 30.5p to 756p. Merrill Lynch suggests Diageo, rumoured to be interested in buying the Bols Dutch liqueur group, should hit 810p a share.

Financials were back on form, responding to the latest US mega banking merger, the $34bn affair between Wells Fargo and Norwest Corporation. Royal Bank of Scotland jumped 62p to 1,127p as some pondered, once again, a deal with Halifax, up 31p to 888p.

The boardroom changes at Barclays were good enough for a 71p gain to 1,747p. The theory is the banking group is preparing for corporate action and Norwich Union, up 11.75p to 468.5p, could find itself on the receiving end of an unwanted bid.

HSBC managed an 8p gain to 1,606p. The shares failed to throw off the impact of profit downgradings as Schroders and PG took the axe to their estimates.

Regional breweries drew strength from the sudden takeover ferment, with Morland 12.5p higher at 470p and Joseph Holt improving 35p to 2,150p.

Young & Co's Brewery, the family-run Wandsworth group, responded to moves by financial group Guinness Peat to shake up its old fashioned capital structure. The "A" shares rose 30p to 675p and the non-voters 15p to 567.5p.

Vaux, the Sunderland brewer and hotelier which has received a bid approach, firmed 9.5p to 354.5p. Ushers of Trowbridge, another to admit take over interest, shaded to 126p.

Pilkington, the glass maker, fell 2p to 130.5p after Dresdner Kleinwort Benson produced sell advice.

Rank, the leisure group, was little changed at 361p ahead of an investment dinner at London's Savoy Hotel, hosted by Henderson Crosthwaite. Cadbury Schweppes, still seeing analysts, hardened 11.5p to 993p.

Alba, the television and video group, improved 21p to 216p. HSBC, following a 29 per cent profits advance, said buy, forecasting profits of pounds 14.2m this year.

BTG, the old British Technology Group, rose a further 22p to 777.5p. Investment presentations are due to start next week for the flotation of its Torotrak gearbox group.

Calluna fell 4.25p to 27.25p. Reports of problems over its Hardwall system did the damage. The shares have jumped on hopes of major contracts for the computer security system.

Carlisle rose 2p to 18p in brisk trading as investors anticipated the little property group was the vehicle for the return of Michael Ashcroft, a major 1980s player.

Trust Motor advanced 13.5p to 207p as Reg Vardy was linked to the group where a management buy-out has failed.

Minmet, on hopes of a Devon gold strike after last week's "encouraging" progress report, rallied 1.75p to 10.75p.

Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
Sport
Vincenzo Nibali rides into Paris on the final stage of the 2014 Tour de France
Tour de FranceVincenzo Nibali is first Italian winner since Marco Pantani in 1998
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Sport
Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo (C) celebrates with Scuderia Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (L) and Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton
sport
Arts and Entertainment
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmComedy was dominated by the romcom at its most insufferable
Sport
Tour de France competitor Bartosz Huzarski’s legs have highlighted the gruelling nature of the race, after he posted a picture on Facebook showing extremely prominent veins stretching from his feet and all the way up his legs
Commonwealth Games
Life and Style
Elle Kaye demonstrates the art of taxidermy
food + drinkFood revolution taken a step further in new ‘edible taxidermy’ class
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
Halsall broke her personal best in the 50m butterfly
Commonwealth GamesEnglish swimmer is reborn after disastrous time at London 2012
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Voices
The Express offices in the 1930s when writers (such as Orwell) were paid around £2 weekly
voicesWebsites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
A cut above: Katy Guest at The Ginger Pig
food + drinkThe Ginger Pig's hands-on approach to primary cuts
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

Application Support Analyst / Junior SQL Server DBA

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried