Market Report: Invensys gains thanks to dividend and bid chatter

As hopes were raised over dividend payments and speculation swirled that it could be a takeover target, Invensys found itself in favour with investors yesterday.

Reaching a peak of 360.6p near the start of trading, the engineering group eventually closed at 352.5p – a 11.6p gain – as Morgan Stanley kept its "overweight" rating on the group.

Reiterating its price target of 350p, the broker said it believed the company's full-year results – expected in May – could see it announce the start of a formal dividend policy. Invensys made its first dividend payment for six years in 2009, following a turnaround of the group's fortunes.

However, traders said a bigger boost behind the stock was vague chatter that it could receive an approach from Siemens following the German company saying it plans to make multibillion euro purchases.

Rumours of Siemens eyeing up Invensys have been around regularly in recent months, but market voices said there was extra impetus yesterday, given the fact the engineering conglomerate has now signalled its intention to make acquisitions.

Siemens' comments also led it to be linked with a bid for Weir, which was lifted 68p to 1,763p. Another catalyst for the pump and valve maker was UBS, which said it continues "to have confidence in [the group's] structural growth and earnings story".

Overall, the FTSE 100 just failed to keep its head above water – edging down 2.81 points to 6,060.09 – while the FTSE 250 made 36.17 to finish at 11,833.94.

A promise that it would return at least $1.7bn to its shareholders following the sale of its well support division to General Electric helped Wood Group put on 79.5p to 652p. The energy services provider was praised by analysts for managing to get $2.8bn for the unit, while they also said its chances of receiving a takeover approach itself had now increased.

Collins Stewart described the deal as "strategically sound, concentrating Wood on its core engineering and operations support businesses", adding that, as a result, "we would view [it] as a more attractive target for Amec".

Many of the groups in the banking sector found themselves down following a warning from Moody's Investors Service that it is "conducting a re-assessment of government support in its debt ratings of banks, which could ultimately lead to the downgrade of bank subordinated debt across several countries".

Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC were knocked back 1.1p to 65.7p and 6.1p to 707.9p respectively, while Barclays was 0.3p weaker at 310.8p ahead of its full-year results today.

However, Royal Bank of Scotland shifted up 0.3p to 44.3p after Exane BNP Paribas' Ian Gordon stayed positive on the bank, saying he expects "further outperformance from here".

International Consolidated Airlines failed to take off, sliding 4p to 245p as its bad run continued. The result of the merger between British Airways and Iberia has now lost nearly 15 per cent since it started trading last month under its new title and yesterday it was hit by UBS expressing its concern over increasing fuel prices.



Not for the first time in 2011, Arm Holdings took pole position on the top-tier index, with a climb of 40p to 651p.

The catalyst behind the latest surge was support from Goldman Sachs, which upped its price target to 800p, as well as Morgan Stanley's comments on tablet devices. The broker said it expected "55 million ... shipments in 2011 (up from 16 million in 2010), 85 million in 2012, and 102 million by 2013".

Data from China showing imports had risen over 50 per cent helped the miners as City Index's Joshua Raymond pointed out that "any sort of evidence that reaffirms the Chinese growth story and strong metal demand has typically seen a bullish reaction from investors". Among the sector's winners as a result were Xstrata, up 30p to 1,505.5p, and Antofagasta, up 27p to 1,486p.

Exillon Energy rose to the top of the mid-tier index with a huge jump forwards of over 15 per cent, moving 51.1p to 391.6p. The oil producer released the results of an independent study that increased the estimation of its reserves by nearly 75 per cent, up to 239m barrels.

The takeover suitability of CSR – 4.9p higher at 447p – was given another push by UBS's Gareth Jenkins, who said it remains "a potential acquisition target given its leadership in Bluetooth and the growing importance of connectivity in mobile devices".

Meanwhile, Fidessa released its final results, but despite posting a 10 per cent rise in revenue, the group still slumped 20p to 1,680p.



It may supply fire engines for the emergency services, but on the Alternative Investment Market it was Assetco which need rescuing after losing nearly 24 per cent, plummeting 11p to 35p as it revealed the end of its takeover talks.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manchester, £18k

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manch...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HRO - £70k+ ote

£35000 - £450000 per annum + £3k car, £70k ote: h2 Recruit Ltd: Do you want to...

Citifocus Ltd: Newly Qualified Accountants - Risk Mgmt

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...

Citifocus Ltd: Operational Risk Analyst

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?