Market Report: Footsie unmoved by the Dow celebrations

ONLY A few months ago the sight of the Dow Jones Average riding above 10,000 points would have given Footsie cause for celebration.

Not any more. As New York achieved, if only briefly, the remarkable landmark, London's blue chip index drifted 4.9 lower to 6,201.9. It was the third fall on the trot.

At one time the index was 62.8 higher but then weakened as the ramifications of the European Union shake-up prompted a more cautious approach.

But Footsie has for much of this year drifted out of line with the Dow Jones Average as the US index has turned on a rampant display, climbing from 9,276.

Many blame the decoupling on the launch of the euro and the Government's distinct shift towards the European culture. Although still by far the world's biggest share market, New York could be losing at least some of its dominance.

Talk of a break has been around for years. And every so often London has appeared to flex its muscles and ignore its trans-Atlantic big brother. But such displays of independence have been brief and the slavish dependence on Wall Street has reasserted itself.

The Dow Jones Average has looked a sure fire bet to hit 10,000 from the early days of this year. Footsie moved to new highs in 1999, the last - 6,335.7 - was reached last week.

But it has lacked the eagerness of the Dow Jones Average, and has often been pulled back by events which at one time would have been regarded as dismissible little local difficulties.

Although the stock market had a featureless session, trading was again busy with share volume nudging 1.1 billion. Supporting indices were to the fore with the mid cap up 0.8 to 5,519.7 and the small cap improving an impressive 9.2 to 2,375.8.

Once again takeover bids spurred the small cap brigade. Porter Chadburn, a packaging group, rose 14p to 37.25p as a US group appeared with a 38.5p a share offer, and Eclipse Blinds added 15p to 112.5p after Headlam, up 3.5p at 348.5p, produced a share exchange deal.

Terranova, the food group, duly collected a bid from Unigate, jumping 31.5p to 135.5p as the market geared itself for a possible bid battle or at least an improvement on the 125p offer.

And Albright & Wilson duly collected a higher offer, a 145p shot, from interests related to Rhodia, the French group. But mergers are not always rewarding - as First Choice, the package holiday group, continues to illustrate. The shares fell a further 12p to 161p, against a recent 189p high, on disappointment with the proposed merger with Kuoni Reisen, the Swiss travel group.

After their bashing on Monday telecoms recovered some ground with Colt Telecom up 56.5p to 995.5p although BT lost 19p to 1,039p.

Ladbroke, the betting and hotel group, greeted the start of the Cheltenham Festival with a losing share price, off 12.5p at 295.25p. Warburg Dillon Read appeared to do the damage, reining back its recommendation from buy to hold.

The major banks were firm, helping to reduce the Footsie retreat.

HSBC and Standard Chartered were singled out for attention as Morgan Stanley increased its HSBC target to 2,200p and Standard to 1,050p.

HSBC rose 27p (after 72p) to 1,929p and Standard 9.5p (27.5p) to 907p. Royal Bank of Scotland was up 43p to 1,289.5p as, coincidentally, HSBC lifted its share forecast to 1,500p. National Westminster Bank was 24p higher at 1,472p.

National Power was up 10p at 463.5p following a back handed compliment from Merrill Lynch. In effect it described the shares as too low to sell.

Tomkins, the buns to guns conglomerate, remained under the whip, falling a further 10p to 214.5p.

British Aerospace was lowered 8.5p to 394p as the restructuring of Airbus Industrie, where BAe has 20 per cent, into a commercial company was advocated by John Leahy, the head of global sales.

He says the reshaping is needed for financial reasons and the proposed A3XX airliner. The various parties controlling Airbus are in favour of the restructuring but have been squabbling over management control.

Safeway fell 10.25p to 238.75p as a line of 1.5 million shares went through at 237p. Other supermarkets weakened as the alleged price war returned to haunt the sector. Asda fell 2.5p to 142.75p and Tesco 2.25p to 159.75p.

Disappointment with engineer Bodycote's figures hit the shares 92.5p to 890 and a profit warning from Kelsey Industries smashed the price 125p to 310p.

Hi-tec, the sport shoes group, said it would make a loss and jogged 2.5p lower to 15.5p.

JD Wetherspoon, the pubs chain, frothed 10.5p higher to 283.5p as Merrill Lynch adopted a more positive stance.

Signet, the jeweller, firmed 0.75p to 47.5p in busy trading with Cazenove said to be backing the shares.

UK Land climbed 11p (after 18p) to 118.5p on rumours it had sold London's Elephant & Castle shopping centre for around pounds 17m. The company denied the story.

Morgan Crucible rose 12.5p to 259p following the sale of its maintenance and repair business for pounds 170m. It intends to buy back up to 14.99 per cent of its shares.

West 175, which makes cookery programmes for television, has clinched the acquisition of 60 per cent of Montage Projects, a production company. The shares gained 7p to 63.5p.

Somic, involved in a management buy out, jumped 25p to 105p.

It is selling its fabrics business to its management and turning itself into a cash shell.

SEAQ VOLUME: 1.1bn

SEAQ TRADES: 98,183

GILTS INDEX: N/A

ROBOTIC TECHNOLOGY Systems, the most successful share on the fringe Ofex market, is moving to AIM. It is not raising any new money, and the stockbroker JM Finn appears to be elevating the shares through a simple introduction. Since arriving on Ofex, Robotic's shares have climbed from 35p to around 305p. RTS specialises in automation systems and services for the nuclear industry as well as robotic technology.

SHARES OF Griffin Mining, which has zinc reserves in China, have nearly doubled to 18p since November.

The company has a dual AIM/Toronto share presence and it is thought that much of the advance stems from Canadian interest. Griffin used to be called European Mining Finance.

The present management arrived after a shareholder revolt about a year ago. Charles Stanley yesterday became the company's stockbroker following its acquisition of Burrough Johnstone.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Nigel Farage arrives for a hustings event at The Oddfellows Hall in Ramsgate on Tuesday
voicesA defection that shows who has the most to fear from the rise of Ukip
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Life and Style
Brave step: A live collection from Alexander McQueen whose internet show crashed because of high demand
fashionAs the collections start, Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
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

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, Linux, Shell, Bash)

£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...

Data Scientist (SQL, PHP, RSPSS, CPLEX, SARS, AI) - London

£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...

Day In a Page

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
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution