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The best performing sector was tobacco, which rose 4.8 per cent. BAT Industries was responsible for most of this rise as it gained more than 6 per cent. BAT's shares, together with all the US tobacco companies', had been hurt after Brooke Group's Liggett subsidiary agreed a settlement in health-related litigation filed by 22 states and that it would co-operate against the other companies. Last week saw a recovery as investors considered the financial liabilities for BAT might not be that serious.

Drug stocks such as Glaxo and SmithKline Beecham, which derive a large part of their revenues from the US, rose after the rate rise there boosted hopes for continuing economic growth with low inflation. The worst performing sector was insurance, which fell 1.76 per cent. Stocks in this sector are vulnerable when interest rates rise as the value of their portfolios with large bond holdings fall. The Prudential won its bid for life insurer Scottish Amicable at a cost of pounds 1.75bn. Shares in the Prudential actually rose 9p to 567p.

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