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.

A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman,; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith,
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
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

Financial Analyst - Forecasting - Yorkshire

£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...

Business Architect - Bristol - £500 per day

£500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...

Regulatory Reporting-MI-Bank-Cardiff-£300/day

£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup