Market Report: Footsie hits another peak in subdued trading

ANOTHER record-breaking session, although it was a far from convincing performance. Many experts felt that with New York seemingly catching its breath the stock market would do well to avoid a sharp downturn.

In the event Footsie strolled to yet another peak, ending 33.1 points higher at 5,751.6, and supporting indices, often in more robust form, hit new highs. This week Footsie has had a remarkable run, climbing nearly 170.

Trading, however, was often subdued yesterday with many investors prepared to sit on the sidelines.

Again financials provided the powerhouse. The takeover stories may be looking tired and bewhiskered but there is no denying they still have a tremendous impact on sentiment. Institutional buying, as well as hopes that shares with Far Eastern connections will continue to recover, are other influences.

Standard Chartered, the best performing blue chip for most of the session, illustrated the recovery attraction. Year's profits, next week, are expected to be flat, down to pounds 855m, as Asia extracts its inevitable toll. At one time up 64p, the banking group ended 45.5p higher at 764.5p.

Only weeks ago the shares were bumping along at 543p, lowest for more than two years. Before the Far Eastern crisis erupted last year they were as high as 1,081.5p.

HSBC, figures on Monday, gained 82p to 1,772p. The shares have moved between 2,347p and 1,366p in the past year.

Other financials buoying Footsie included Schroders, the investment group which hit a 2,170p high, up 100p. The still family controlled group could be a major player in any consolidation and make a tempting target for a range of growth-conscious financials. The non-voting shares rose 66p to 1,865p. Both classes, however, are exceedingly narrow markets and it takes little activity to provoke sharp movements. For example recorded volume in the non voters was only 19,552 shares.

Elsewhere Safeway, the supermarket chain, ignored the threat of a profits warning, gaining 14.5p to 375p and EMI, the showbiz group, responded to a statement that Sir Colin Southgate will continue as chairman, with an 10.5p gain to 494.5p. Jim Fifield remains chief officer of EMI Music.

Rank, the leisure group, reflected its results with a 9p gain to 340p and Bass fell 26.5p to 960p as speculation strengthened that it would emerge victorious in the battle for Inter-Continental Hotels and Resorts with an exceedingly rich pounds 1.7bn offer.

Diageo, the wine and spirit giant, fell 10p to 605p as a spokeswomen denied that LVMH had sold any of its 11 per cent interest. Cash-rich Associated British Foods, in busy trading, rose 23p to 630p (after 645.5p) on rumours of an acquisition.

BAA firmed to 561.5p as Robert Fleming described the airport group as "a safe and defensive utility with strong asset backing". Salomon Smith Barney lifted its British Aerospace target to 2,300p, helping the shares 32p higher to 1,880p.

Engineer TI Group held at 490p. Merrill Lynch believes the relative fall over the past six months has been overdone. It expects a recovery shortly. The shares touched 690.5p in October. Difficulties in the group's mechanical seals division have created the unease. Merrill sees group profits of pounds 223m last year and pounds 245m this year.

Profit warnings were again a restraining influence. Albert Fisher maintained its reputation as a perennial under-performer, falling 6.5p to 25.5p as it warned interim figures would be lower.

SHL fell 22p to 291.5p after saying interim results would be little changed. Shares of the recruitment selection company were floated in October at 245p.

Core became the latest drugs casualty, crashing 76.5p to 118.5p after warning that two of its three potential drugs faced delays. Racal Electronic gained 8p to 264p following an investment dinner with Henderson Crosthwaite; Da La Rue, the security printer, managed a modest rally after Thursday's shake out, recovering 17p to 287p.

Sema, the computer group did its admittedly outside chances of joining Footsie no harm at all with a 72.5p gain to 1,910p after clinching a pounds 305m five-year contract to operate the Government's benefits agency medical service.

Card Clear, the payment and fraud prevention group, returned to market after the reverse pounds 24.5m takeover of HTEC, which supplies loyalty systems. Suspended at 47p in January the shares touched 57p, closing at 53.5p.

Uno, a furniture retailer, rose 30p to 230p after a large overhang, thought to be a line of stock owned by fund manager Gartmore, was placed by SG Securities.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
  • Get to the point
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own