Market Report: United Utilities was a riser despite the regulatory price review

Is it a good time to buy shares in a sector with a regulatory review looming?

Experts at Morgan Stanley said yes yesterday when they rated water group United Utilities to overweight.

The Ofwat review will set prices for 2015-20 and the regulator is due to confirm the allowed return for utilities groups by 27 January. But Morgan Stanley argued that concerns about the review are already factored into United's share price and the stock offers "superior upside" and will retain an "attractive" dividend. Investors seemed to agree with that argument and the Warrington-based group gushed up 30p to 689p.

The wider market was broadly flat for much of the day but the FTSE 100 slipped 4.44 points to 6815.42 at the close.

The top risers were mining stocks after analysts at Citi declared there is a "mining fightback" and turned bullish on the industry for the "first time in three years". It rated Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Glencore Xstrata as key picks, and diggers added more than 4.5 points to the blue-chip index. Antofagasta (up 30p to 819.5p) and BHP Billiton (68.5p to 1,860p) were top of the tree, and Rio Tinto advanced 80.5p to 3,334.5p. Glencore Xstrata ticked up 7.75p to 327.2p.

Traders decided Tullow Oil's plans for Kenya were looking good and it jetted 44.5p to 907.5p.

BSkyB slipped back after a strong share rise earlier in the week amid rumours of renewed bid interest. It fell 24.5p to 845p as Credit Suisse issued its view on what it should do to compete for Premier League rights.

Food to clothing group Associated British Foods fell 71p to 2,625p when strong trading from Primark was offset by worse than expected sugar sales.

On the mid-tier table, the bike-to-car accessories retailer Halfords was up 31.5p at 492.5p after its good Christmas trading update.

Premier Oil slipped 20p to 288p after it said output this year could be flat.

Publisher Bloomsbury said turnover was up 20 per cent year on year and it rose 3.75p rise to 167.25p.

A fall in sales and profit at Games Workshop saw it decline by 176p to 547p.

Oil rig maker Lamprell said its 2013 performance will be ahead of expectations and it gained 13.75p to 154.25p.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksNow available in paperback
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

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Direct Marketing Manager - B2C, Financial Services - Slough

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas