Market Report: Vodafone rings up gains amid bid talk

Takeover rumours buzzed around the telecoms sector again yesterday, helping Vodafone call up a spot among the blue-chip risers. Vodafone, which is said to be poised to raise its £6bn-plus takeover approach for German cable company Kabel Deutschland, had been nursing losses last week, falling below 180p. But bargain hunters returned yesterday amid speculation that US giant AT&T was linked to an approach for Spain's Telefonica, the owner of British mobile network O2.

Analysts said AT&T's rumoured move could prompt rival Verizon to look again at the possibility of buying Vodafone.AT&T has previously been linked with BT and Telecom Italia. Reports claimed Madrid's government had blocked a formal €70bn (£59bn) bid for Telefonica. The rumoured approach was denied in Spain but the chat still pushed Vodafone up 2.65p to 182.7p

Meanwhile the rest of the market ignored the gathering of the great and the good at Lough Erne for the two-day G8 summit yesterday and focused instead on guessing what US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke will say at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting tomorrow. The question is will he cut back on stimulus measures soon, and if so by how much?

Colin Cieszynski, a senior market analyst at CMC Markets, said: "Stocks and currencies have been very active over the last six months off the back of changes to QE programmes, particularly in the US and Japan, and have become quite dependent on announcements of additional QE to keep over-extended trends going."

Having finished lower for the fourth week in a row last week – the worst run of weekly closes since April last year – the FTSE 100 index advanced 22.23 points to 6,330.49 as bullish investors decided to bet that Mr Bernanke will leave the money taps on for now.

Aggreko was top of the benchmark index after a buy note from analysts at Numis. The temporary power supplier surged 66p to 1,791p ahead of its trading update due today.

Punters took a look at consumer goods groups on the advice of analysts at Citi, who think the sector is still cheap "even after its strong run in the last 12 months". Some investors had been concerned about cleaning products-to-drugs group Reckitt Benckiser and the performance of its heroin addiction drug Suboxone after the opening of the markets to generics. But Citi thinks it has shown signs of "early resilience" and is worth a buy at 5,450p. The owner of Mr Sheen, Cillit Bang and French's mustard brands cleaned up with a 100p rise to 4,679p.

The insurance sector was also in focus on news that Legal & General has promoted its head of savings, Mark Gregory, to finance director. The shares dipped 0.3p to 170.6p. Insurer Resolution got a boost from JP Morgan's scribblers who raised their target price from 273p to 302p and rated the shares neutral as "cost savings and improving market conditions underpin its strong dividend yield". Resolution racked up an 8p gain to 283.1p.

Angela Ahrendts, the chief executive of Burberry invested her bonus for the year ending April 2013 in the luxury group's shares, buying 59,689 at 1,362.2p, while the outgoing finance boss Stacey Cartwright sold 214,944 shares. Burberry, which will host its first menswear fashion show in London today after showing in Milan, added 29p to 1,399p.

Oil services group Petrofac was hit by news that Italian rival Saipem cut its outlook. Petrofac slipped 36p to 1,288p.

The wooden spoon went to the smartphone microchip designer Arm Holdings. Analysts at Numis downgraded it to reduce and said US rival Intel "has made a breakthrough in finally having competitive chips for smartphones". Arm declined 32p to 830p.

Fellow UK microchip designer Imagination Technologies, also suffered and was 10.7p worse off at 304.7p.

Scribes at UBS reduced their price target for transport operator First Group after its rights issue to 100p from 150p. The shares reversed 1.7p to 92p.

APR Energy surged 70p to 910p after revealing it has expanded its existing contract in Libya.

Technology equipment provider BATM Advanced Communications has been picked, as part of a consortium, to roll out fibre optic broadband and internet in Israel, and the shares beamed up 0.75p to 15.75p. On AIM, Leyshon Resources lost 5p to 11p after revealing a setback at its Zijinshan gas project in China.

Buy: Majestic Wine

Drink to Majestic, Canaccord Genuity recommends. Its analysts say the shares have underperformed the general retail sector by 36 per cent in the past year, and they reckon this is "overdone". The off-licences group's strong returns and expansion strategy are a reason to buy, they add, setting a 505p price target for shares that are currently 462p.

Sell: Travis Perkins

Flog shares in Travis Perkins, Jefferies suggests. The broker warns that the "exceptional performance" of the builders' merchant shares in the past year "in the face of declining earnings estimates" has left it too far ahead. It admits the group has "sector-leading market share and margins" and a "well-respected management team" but says it is still too expensive. It rates the shares, which are 1,517p, at 1,120p.

Hold: Immunodiagnostic systems

Hang on to shares in Immunodiagnostic Systems, the clinical research specialist, Investec insists. Its results yesterday showed reduced revenues as a result of tough trading conditions but the figures were in line with analysts' expectations. Investec wants to see bottom-line growth, and retains its hold rating with a 460p price target for shares that are at 447.5p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
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
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

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...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada