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
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Reach Volunteering: Trustees with Finance, Fundraising and IT skills

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago