Market Report: Michael Page climbs as Adecco bid talk returns

The possibility of Michael Page becoming a takeover target again was in focus last night following rumours Adecco could be gearing up for another attempt at the recruiter.

The group enjoyed a late spurt to shift forwards 11.8p to 362.5p on the mid-tier index after vague speculation suggested it may attract a new approach from the world's largest staffing group.

Adecco entered into bid talks with Michael Page in 2008 , valuing it at 400p a share, before pulling out after being rejected twice, but the latest chatter said it could now offer as much as 550p a share. Meanwhile, the Amsterdam-listed recruiter Randstad was also said by market gossips to be potentially interested in the company.

Michael Page received another boost yesterday from Deutsche Bank calling it "the highest quality recruitment firm under our coverage", although the broker kept its "hold" rating, saying current fears over the economic climate meant there was "too much downside risk in the shares".

This was despite the group currently being around its lowest share price for over a year, having fallen by a third in less than a month. Its half-year results last week were particularly disappointing, as it warned of a slowdown at its banking business while its pretax profit for the period missed market expectations.

Although the FTSE 100 fell back from an early high of 5,193.17 points, it still finished 34.12 points stronger at 5,129.42 – a second straight session ahead that nonetheless leaves it over 200 points lower than a week ago.

Speculation Ben Bernanke's meeting with central bankers on Friday could see the US Federal Reserve chairman announce a third round of quantitative easing was dominating conversations across the City, with some in the market warning that any disappointment come the end of the week could see the top-tier index plunge back downwards.

Arm Holdings was proving popular with investors in the wake of the re-emergence of takeover rumours around the chip designer on Monday. Despite its chief executive saying there were few benefits to a potential acquirer, the Cambridge-based group advanced 22p to 514p and Oracle, Intel and Apple were all linked in the speculation as potential aggressors.

In what has been a fairly rare occurrence since its IPO in May, Glencore International was one of the top performers, climbing 12.45p to 367.45p. The commodities trader, which floated at 530p a share, is releasing its interim figures tomorrow and Morgan Stanley's Alain Gabriel said its recent falls had provided "an opportunity to own a high-quality business at a significant, unjustified discount".

With positive data emerging from China and the prospect of an imminent conclusion to the Libyan conflict seeming less and less likely, oil prices were back on the rise. Citi still reduced its forecast for Brent oil down to $95 per barrel for the end of the year, and $86 per barrel for 2012, although it was not enough to stop BP pushing up 5.85p to 396.05p.

Some of the banks, which were conspicuous in their absence from Monday's rally, managed to finish in the blue, as Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland moved off their lowest share price since 2009, gaining 0.74p to 28.3p and 0.33p to 20p respectively. Morgan Stanley said there was "value in the UK banks overall", although it warned about "the multiple risks currently facing the sector, most notably related to sovereign debt, economic growth, funding conditions and UK regulation".

Charter International provided the biggest move of the session, soaring 125p to 747p on the FTSE 250. The tool manufacturer, which has knocked back two offers from Melrose, revealed it had a new approach. The US group Lincoln Electric last night distanced itself from early reports suggesting it was the new suitor.

Melrose, meanwhile, ticked up 8.2p to 295p ahead of the release today of its interim results, and some in the market were speculating the manufacturing buyout group could use the opportunity to raise its potential bid for Charter from the 840p a share it has already said it would offer.

At the other end SuperGroup dipped 4.97 per cent, or 47p, to 898.5p on talk a number of directors could be about to dispose of their shares. Collins Stewart pointed out that, after its float last year, lock-ups over a large proportion of the group expire next month, suggesting this "would present an opportunity for some of the directors to sell".

Down on the Alternative Investment Market, 3D Diagnostic Imaging surged up 0.25p to 2.25p after the dental technology group announced a Russian distributor has been appointed for its handheld CarieScan Pro device, used to detect tooth decay.

Meanwhile, Gulf Keystone put on 2.5p to 128.25p following vague rumours suggesting the explorer may have reached an export agreement with the Kurdistan government.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower