Market Report: Footsie buoyed by Vodafone bid talk

Reports of M&A in the telecoms sector kept the FTSE 100 out of the red to finish the week in positive territory. There have been rumours that US giant AT&T has been eyeing Vodafone for some time but a Bloomberg report pushed investors into a buying frenzy yesterday.

Reports suggested AT&T is lining up a bid for next year that would see it create a $250bn (£156bn) giant. It would also see it break up the blue-chip telecoms group and sell off Vodafone's African and Indian businesses.

AT&T was said to have held talks with Vodafone's US partner Verizon about a deal but instead Vodafone agreed to sell its $130bn stake in US mobile joint venture Verizon Wireless. AT&T's interest in Vodafone stems from a desire to enter Europe's wireless market, and it could also be looking at other groups over here such as EE (Everything Everywhere).

The excitement about M&A – albeit a way off – kept the interest in Vodafone alive all day. The shares dialled up a jump of 8p, or more than 3 per cent, to, which helped the FTSE 100 index into positive territory and added 8 points to the index "making the wider market seem a lot better than it actually is", said Joe Rundle, head of trading at spread better ETX Capital.

The benchmark index ticked up 3.31 points to 6734.74 but further gains were held back by weaker overall sentiment. Brenda Kelly, senior market strategist at spread better IG, said: "An investor aversion to the key mining and banking components on the UK benchmark today ensured that even Vodafone takeover speculation could not boost the FTSE to a weekly close above 6754 – something that has not occurred in over 13 years."

The pervading air of caution in the City and across Europe re-emerged as poor economic data led investors to focus on a possible ECB rate cut next week.

The euro had its biggest one-day decline in 16 months, falling 1.11 percent against the dollar. The sell-off was triggered by weaker data from the eurozone.

Engineer and defence specialist Meggitt was the worst performer as it reduced sales growth forecasts and nosedived 63.5p to 509p.

The banks were in the doghouse amid revelations that traders from Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland have been suspended over allegations of possible manipulation foreign exchange market. Barclays was 7.3p weaker at 256.3p. Disappointing profits at RBS saw it fall 27.6p to 340p.

One bank on the rise was HSBC, ahead of its trading update on Monday. Investors expect it to have had a better third quarter than rivals.

HSBC also promoted its group chief risk officer Marc Moses to its main board. It collected 5.2p to 687.3p.

Better data out of China should have automatically boosted the mining sector but many of the diggers remained at the bottom of the table as investors remained risk adverse.

The gold digger Randgold Resources tumbled 133p to 4,507p and analysts at RBC Capital cut their target price to 5,400p. However Rio Tinto was one of the popular stocks and added 26p to 3,184p. Over on the small-cap index, logistics group Wincanton won a contract from Asda to supply it with 1,800 home shopping vans ,and it drove up 3.75p to 131p Wincanton will be reporting its first-half results next week.

Shipping services group Clarksons has bought maritime tool supplier Gibb Tools for £12.7m. Analysts at Panmure Gordon said the deal will help Clarksons' port and agency arm, allowing it to tender for larger contracts. Clarksons sailed up 47p to 2,063p.

On AIM, drugs discovery group Summit received approval for one of its clinical trials for its therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy but it was unmoved at 11.375p.

Africa's low-cost airline Fastjet said its first flight from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya, in south-west Tanzania, departed on schedule and is the fifth Tanzanian destination in its network. It flew up 0.1p to 3.62p.

West Africa-focused oil and gas explorer Lekoil is raising around £62m by placing 113.28 million shares at 55p, and dipped 0.5p to 56.25p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

Guru Careers: Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant

£16 - 20k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant is needed to ...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine