Market Report: Wiggins effect set to speed up Halfords

Dennis Millard must surely be one of Bradley Wiggins' biggest fans. Although there's no evidence yet the chairman of Halfords – and currently the man in charge until the search for a new chief executive is complete – has strapped on a pair of imitation sideburns, he will no doubt have been celebrating Monday's gold medal-winning performance by the "king of the Mods".

The boost the bicycles retailer could get from Wiggo's success in the time trial was being highlighted yesterday, with Seymour Pierce's Kate Calvert using the opportunity to reiterate her "buy" recommendation on the stock.

As well as the Wiggins effect, the analyst added that Halfords will get a boost from the track cycling, which kicked off yesterday.

Although Halfords is not a sponsor of Wiggins, Ms Calvert pointed out the company has teamed up with both Chris Boardman - a gold medallist in Barcelona in 1992 – and current star Victoria Pendleton to produce bikes.

She also said last month's resignation of David Wild as chief executive was "a positive turning point for the shares" and added that the company's cashflow was "strong enough to maintain the dividend... and could attract corporate activity", as Halfords advanced 2p to 205.5p.

Early gains which saw the FTSE 100 hit its highest level since the start of May were wiped out after Mario Draghi failed to come up with convincing measures to support eurozone bonds.

Amid weak volumes, which added to volatility, the blue-chip index ended down 50.52 at 5,662.3

Bank stocks were particularly hard hit because of their eurobond holdings, with Barclays off 6p at 162.3p and Lloyds Banking Group down 1.31p at 29.39p.

Claims that ministers have been discussing whether it may be time to fully nationalise Royal Bank of Scotland meanwhile failed to revive the bank ahead of its results today.

According to overnight reports, ministers have talked about the possibility as a way to boost the amount RBS lends to small businesses, although apparently George Osborne and the Treasury are against the idea.

With many sceptical over the likelihood of it happenning, the chatter failed to revive the group's share price, which sank 10.9p to 204.5p, near the bottom of the leaderboard

Liberum Capital's Cormac Leech said full nationalisation was "unlikely" for a number of reasons, including his belief that "RBS is clearly on the road to recovery (albeit more circuitously than some envisaged)", although the analyst added "if a buyout did occur it would likely be at a premium to the current share price". Meanwhile, the scribblers at Oriel Securities were rather more frank. "Nationalisation would be nuts" was their view, going on to say that "the Government should just get on and do what is was elected to; fix the economy and stop telling world-class operators such as Stephen Hester, how to do their job."

The prosthetics maker Smith & Nephew topped the leaderboard, climbing 15.5p to 675p as it announced a 50 per cent jump in its half-year dividend alongside its interim results.

Down on the FTSE 250, Spirent Communications slumped a huge 23.8p – or 14 per cent – to 144.7p after the supplier warned its growth over the second six months of the year would not be as high as expected.

Also deep in the red was Ophir Energy. The Africa-focused explorer plummeted by 60.5p to 522p on the news that its Papa-1 well off the shore of Tanzania had not found as much natural gas as the Square Mile had been hoping for.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Two christmas trees ,Moonbeam (2L), Moonchester (2R) and Santa Claus outside the Etihad Stadium
footballAll the action from today's games
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

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