Icap sees rays of light as volumes rise

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The Independent Online

Shares in Icap, the broking giant founded and run by Michael Spencer, soared yesterday after it said everything in the City is not quite as gloomy as people feared.

It said January had seen a recovery in business from the low levels between October and December. However, it cautioned that electronic broking volumes were down 19 per cent on January 2011 because of low volatility in the yen and Swiss franc.

Mr Spencer (pictured) backed Chancellor George Osborne's bid to make London the centre for international trading of the Chinese renminbi. He is flying into Beijing today and said: "It is very, very high on our list of priorities."

Icap said profits for the year to March would now be at the top end of market forecasts, which range from £336m to £358m.

The shares rose 26p to 362p.