Market Report: US takeover chatter helps Kingfisher soar

Kingfisher flew up the blue-chip index last night after vague rumours suggested that two of its fellow DIY retailers from across the Atlantic could both make a move for the B&Q owner.

A surge in the last hour of trading meant the group finished 5.2p higher at 236.5p, as speculation spread that Home Depot (which raised its profit forecast for the year yesterday) and Lowes may consider it an attractive way to expand into Europe. As well as its flagship business in the UK, Kingfisher owns market-leading chains in Poland, France and Turkey.

It is not the first time the two US companies have been linked to Kingfisher, and it has also been talked about in the past as a potential target for private equity. Yesterday's renewed mutterings – according to which a potential bid for the group could be worth between 325p and 350p a share – was being taken with a pinch of salt by some in the City, although one trader did concede that "stranger things have happened".

Disappointing GDP figures from Germany appeared to set the tone for the session, as the FTSE 100 initially slumped as low as 5,265.83 points. Yet despite there being little optimism over the outcome of yesterday's summit between Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel on the eurozone crisis, the top-tier index – helped by encouraging industrial production data from the States – managed a late turnaround to close 7.05 points better at 5,357.63 and stretch its winning run to a fourth session.

Despite the improvement, however, the defensive appeal of the precious metal producer meant Randgold Resources took the top spot, increasing 255p to 6,435p as the price of the yellow metal went up.

It was a rather more mixed session for the rest of the miners, with Vedanta Resources and Antofagasta retreating 42p to 1,383p and 36p to 1,228p respectively.

Meanwhile, Rio Tinto moved up 35p to 3,729p after Heath R Jansen of Citigroup named it as the broker's "most preferred" stock in the sector, saying the group "has de-rated over the past three months to the extent that it is now the cheapest diversified miner on our estimates".

"In addition we have become increasingly confident that the iron ore market will not become as oversupplied in the middle of the decade as previously expected," the analyst added, who pointed out the commodity provides around 70 per cent of Rio Tinto's earnings.

With its pipeline in the North Sea still leaking oil, in what is now believed to be the worst spill in the UK for more than 10 years, Royal Dutch Shell was 10p behind at 2,005.5p. Meanwhile, on the FTSE 250 Heritage Oil powered up 2.7p to 227.9p after it announced it had managed to more than triple production at its Zapadno Chumpasskoye field in Russia.

After its boost on Monday from rumours that it could become a target for the US casinos group Wynn Resorts, continued to rise, climbing 8.5p to 114.2p. The world's biggest listed online gambling group had its "buy" rating reiterated by UBS, which said its current share price not only discounted all its operations in Germany, where it is facing proposed strict new regulations, but also assumed a sharp deterioration in the rest of the group's performance.

Pace was not far behind, shooting up 5p to 105.7p in the wake of Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, revealed earlier in the week. While some said the $12.5bn (£7.6bn) deal highlighted the low valuation of the set-top box manufacturer, Espirito Santo added that "as pay TV operators perceive Google as a threat, over the medium term customers could potentially lower their reliance on Google-Motorola, which bodes well for Pace".

The takeover was also boosting sentiment around Arm Holdings, with Merchant Securities highlighting it as positive for innovation in the world of smartphones and tablets. The broker said the top-tier chip designer was "ideally placed to take advantage of the move to greater portable processing power", and it advanced 5p to 525.5p.

Thomas Cook ended up taking last place as the troubled tour operator dipped 8.17 per cent, or 4.65p, to 52.25p despite the Competition Commission giving the green light to its merger with the high street travel businesses of the Co-op.

Down on the small-cap index, Sportingbet shot up 3.5p to 53.5p after it emerged that the online gaming company was discussing the possibility of the AIM-listed GVC Holdings buying its Turkish website. A successful disposal, said Evolution's James Hollins, could "pave the way for a Ladbrokes takeover of the group", as the bookmaker slipped 2.6p to 126.5p.

Evolution itself was in focus as a bid target, with the investment bank – which pushed up 7.5p to 90p – revealing it had received other approaches alongside the ones from Investec and Canaccord Financial.

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
food + drink
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

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Quantitative Risk Manager

Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits