MARKET REPORT City chooses not to believe the hype from Reed

Reed International, the Anglo-Dutch publishing giant, managed to get the stock market into a rare old tizzy.

As news flashed around that an encouraging trading update was about to materialise the shares were pushed 37p higher to 1,188.5p.

But the words failed to live up to expectations.

Indeed, the market took the view Reed was, ever so discreetly, attempting to flag a profits warning. Such talk as "we are positioned strongly to take full advantage" of growth possibilities fell on deaf ears as the market concentrated on comments about sterling's strength and the likelihood current year's figures will not include any takeover benefits.

Not, perhaps, surprising Reed shares should take fright and end the session down 64p at 1,087.5p.

The Reed anxiety was echoed by some other media shares. Pearson, for example, fell 4p to 711.5p.

The rest of the market enjoyed an almost indifferent day, Footsie, at one time seemed intent on surging to new highs.

In morning trade it was up 30.8 points, indicating a record display could be on the cards. It was not to be. In the event the index gain was a rather unremarkable 6 points at 4,051.2 points, leaving the earlier 4,073.1 peak unchallenged.

Prudential Corporation remained a speculative counter. The group, up 9.5p to 500.5p, a peak, is seen as the central plank in the long rumoured changes in the financial services industry.

There have been long running rumours that Abbey National and the Pru plan a deal. Abbey shares fell 6.5p to 700p.

A number of other possibilities are exercising some of the more alert minds. There is a strong suspicion Commercial Union is in a predators sights. The shares gained 8p to 677.5p after at one time recording a 22.5p advance.

CU's strength occurs at the time the BAT Industries break-up stories are once again being given a whirl. BAT to bid for Imperial Tobacco and then to float its financial side is a thought which has for long occupied a number of the more astute market minds.

BAT, on an unofficial level, has tended to dismiss the bid stories. But like so many market rumours the BAT deal commands a certain amount of logicality. Hence the sneaking suspicion something is in the wind.

PowerGen, the generator, jumped 17.5p to 589p as it completed its 5 per cent buy back, through UBS and Kleinwort Benson. There were suggestions the deal was completed at 605p. No such price appeared on the dealing screens. But if PG did pay such a top heavy price for its own shares then it could only support the arguments that a special dividend is far more even handed. After all, the best PG's price of the day was 589p, thereby leaving private shareholders, unlikely to be privy to the share buy-back, once again out in the cold. National Power, which produced a 100p special dividend for all shareholders, rose 11.5p to 458.5p.

British Gas was, for once, in control. It shares flared 3.5p to 217,5p after it confirmed its proposed demerger and a deal over its take and pay North Sea contracts.

BTR fell a further 1p to 230.5p as the market fretted about the non-appearance of the expected trading statement. Latest word from the rumour mill is that the anxiously awaited statement could appear today.

Forward Technology, an electronics group, slumped 11.5p to 27.5p following a profits warning but Gradus, a building materials group, jumped 34p to 159.5p on the pounds 32.9m bid from the Headlam group.

JN Nicholls, the soft drink group, was another indulging in a share buy- back.

It picked up 300,000 of its shares at 182p, leaving the price just 1p lower at 182.54p.

Betacom, the electrical group where Alan Sugar has taken over as chairman, jumped 5.5p to 28.5p. There are suggestions the Tottenham Hotspur chief intends to use Betacom as his main electronics vehicle with his long established first love, Amstrad, reduced to a supporting roll.

Meanwhile Manchester Utd hit a peak of 583.5p following the European Cup victory. Merrilll Lynch, the company's stockbroker, quickly but modestly upgraded this year's forecast to pounds 24m but should the Euro victory be completed it is, it said, a question of "ooh, la Cantona".

Ladbroke, the betting and hotels group, continued its merry gallop as its encouraging US casino prospects attracted more support, lifting the shares 7p to 214p in busy trading.

Taking Stock

rIt looks as though Bruntcliffe Aggregates could attract a bid from Bardon, itself a long-running takeover candidate. Bardon has taken the trouble to take an option on a 14.99 per cent Bruntcliffe equity stake. It has also acquired an option on convertible stock which could lift its interest to 20 per cent. The options expires early next year.

Bruntcliffe has for long been in dispute with former directors and it would appear they have provided the Bardon options. Bruntcliffe shares edged ahead 1p to 26.5p.

rCadcentre enjoyed a spectacular debut. Placed at 200p the shares closed at 240.5p. The company makes system to aid the 3D design of process and power plants. It placed 38.2 per cent of its capital, raising pounds 7.2m.

Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Quantitative Risk Manager

Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments