Market Report: Shares elect to continue longest bull run in four years

Equities have enjoyed their longest bull run for more than four years. Blissfully ignoring the gunfire of the election and happy to draw inspiration from a robust Wall Street display, Footsie has moved ahead for seven consecutive trading days reaching 4,387.7 points with a 41.6 gain.

The unexpectedly strong display has lifted the index to its highest since blue chips took fright last month when John Major announced the dash to the polls.

In the main the election has been a crushing bore for the stock market although the sudden narrowing of Labour's lead in one of the opinion polls may have produced a little enthusiasm among private clients.

New York has been the real spur. The overnight performance by the Dow Jones Average, its second-biggest gain, put shares in a cheerfully receptive mood when trading started and they made further progress despite a mixed New York opening.

Alliance & Leicester remained the most busily traded share as the final Cazenove auction produced an overall average price of 533.7p for the members who elected to sell through the Alliance system. The price, at one time was 556p; it closed at 545p, a 12p gain. BZW issued an Alliance covered warrant giving the right to buy at 557p in October next year. The warrant costs 82.75p.

Centrica, the distribution arm of the old British Gas, was actively traded, attracting a recorded 47 million turnover with one 10 million-deal going through; the price held at 58.25p.

Imperial Chemical Industries, first-quarter figures today, put on 16p to 720.5p with SBC Warburg, according to sources, buying 800,000 shares. The results will not be exciting, probably around pounds 75m against pounds 202m. There are hopes of better things to come and some even ponder the possibility of ICI pulling something spectacular out of the hat, such as an intriguing acquisition.

EMI, up 17.5p to 1,220p, was given another whirl on take-over speculation and on the financial pitch Schroders and Mercury Asset Management moved ahead on the sudden realisation they may have been overlooked in the recent financials surge.

Beers made modest headway. Bass experienced a two-way pull. NatWest Securities talked about possible acquisitions and said hold; Societe Generale Strauss Turnbull suggested the shares should be sold because of the unresolved Carlsberg Tetley saga. The shares rose 8p to 792p.

Insurances were strong, largely on trading prospects. Hays, the transport group, continued to score from UBS support, up a further 20p at 560p. Molins, the tobacco machinery maker, was stubbed 97.5p to 645p on a warning last year's profits were over-stated. Eurodis Electron, a components group, skidded 37p to 133.5p following another profits warning, and Scruttons, a transport firm, fell 70p to 260p on forecasts of lower profits. Waverley Mining crashed 15p to 39.5p as it put its once highly regarded Montonhall coal mine in Scotland into liquidation.

Reckitt & Colman, the household goods group, continued to advance, up 9p to 832.5p, on talk of a US strike.

Somerfield, the supermarket chain held at 180p, with MeesPierson hanging a 220p target on the shares, and Carpetright had that threadbare look, off 42.5p to 480p, with talk ABN Amro Hoare Govett had turned negative.

GB Rail, one of the privatised rail companies, steamed ahead 13p to 171.5p on suggestions the group is trading above expectations and results could be better than expected. One stockbroker apparently claimed the shares were 100p under-valued.

Umeco, an industrial fasteners group, gained 38.5p to 297p as ex-Burnfield men Brian McGowan and Clive Snowdon moved in following a pounds 9.2m placing to buy a distributor of glass fibre and polyester resin.

Arthur Shaw, the troubled hardware business, rose 0.75p to 4.75p; Ashley Levett, the Monaco-based commodities trader who controls Richmond Rugby Club has emerged as a 12 per cent shareholder.

AND International, paying pounds 1m for a map business, gained 5p to 312.5p. Forminster, the Kookai clothing group, rose 40p to 125.5p following results.

Jarvis, the construction group which is involved in rail maintenance, improved a further 6p to 270p. Stockbroker Killik say the shares are selling on a prospective multiple of 13. "This is", it says, "arguably too low for such a dynamic growth company". Jarvis is thought to have a big acquisition in the pipeline.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
news
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Sport
Brendan Rodgers looks on from the touchline
SPORT
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick