Shares: Taking Stock

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In busy trading steel maker ASW put on 8.5p to 36p, highest since March, as stories flowed of a French bid. There was hopeful talk that Usinor Sacilor, sitting on 12 per cent, was planning to bid for this basket case of the steel industry, which lost pounds 51.7m last year and a further pounds 8.8m in the first half of this year.

Two years ago the shares were 247p.

Motion Media, the videophone maker, returned to the fringe Ofex market after a pounds 2.5m cash raising exercise at 200p. Surprisingly, the shares closed at only 180p, a 25p gain from the suspension price.

MM's videophones are due to be launched in some Dixons stores before Christmas and Philips will shortly start to sell them in Europe.