Surge expected as strategists boost Footsie forecast; MARKET REPORT

As equities wilted and what could be the first crack appeared in the all-conquering financial sector two of the City's most closely followed strategists suggested the stock market was set to surge for the next two years.

Nicholas Knight and Allison Southey at Nomura upgraded this year's Footsie forecast from 4,400 points to 4,800 and next from 4,800 to 5,200. Until the Nomura upgrade Chase seemed to be the most optimistic forecaster with a 4,700 estimate. Mr Knight admitted he was "somewhat reluctant" to lift his predictions but felt the current scenario could point to an even stronger performance than the new targets.

Footsie started brightly enough but found the going increasingly tough and when New York reopened on a hesitant note it lost any semblance of enthusiasm, ending 5.5 points down at 4,332.3.

Some observers were unsettled by the reaction to Barclays' disappointing figures. Financials, with Barclays among the front runners, have led this year's market advance and fears have been expressed shares could fall back sharply if financials lose their way.

Barclays fell 70.5p to 1,129p. Although some banks moved ahead National Westminster was caught in the Barclays slipstream, falling 31p to 803.5p. Standard Chartered slipped 3p to 803.5p as some fretted about its figures.

Britannic, the insurer, jumped 66.5p to 870p as its orphan funds produced an expected dividend of 23p, an 82 per cent increase. A more progressive dividend policy will be based on the 23p platform.

But the Britannic performance did not bring joy to other insurers. Industry peer Prudential Corporation, where there is some confusion over its orphan estate, fell 8.5p to 564.5p.

Grey market trading started in the when-issued form of Hanson and Energy shares. Hanson ended at 300p and Energy at 533.5p. Ladbroke, said to be thinking about barging into the casino bid battle between London Clubs International and Capital Corporation, lost 4.5p to 232.5p. London Clubs added 3p to 381.5p and Capital 10p to 196.5p.

Rolls-Royce firmed 1.5p to 221.5p as Lehman Brothers took a slightly more positive stance. Oils were mixed, with weakening crude prices eroding confidence. But Emerald Energy, ahead of Friday's presentation, touched 8.25p, settling at 7.75p, up 1.5p. Clyde Petroleum, falling to the contested Gulf Canada strike, rose 2p to 118.5p.

Argos, the catalogue stores chain, was the best-performing blue chip. The shares rose 21.5p to 695p, said to be reflecting the likelihood of unchanged interest rates. Boots, however, dipped 13p to 688p with UBS said to be negative.

Stagecoach was again ruffled by its South West Trains fiasco, retreating 27.5p to 692.5p. Railtrack moved ahead a further 4.5p ahead of its investment presentation.

Scotia, the drugs group, was at one time down 52p as the bearish Greig Middleton circular appeared. The shares closed at 650p, off 29.5p. The stockbroker fears a cash call of up to pounds 60m in the next six months. Its current "fair value" estimate is 229, rising to 600p at the start of 1999.

Plantation & General jumped 9p to 61.5p as famed fund manager Nick Roditi appeared with a possible offer around 58p. The market thinks Mr Roditi will use the company as a vehicle for his own interests or pump a business into it.

Williams Holdings, conducting one-to-one investment meetings with fund managers after a presentation on Monday, managed a 6p gain to 305p. Shandwick, the public relations group rocked by defections, fell 3.5p to 56.75p.

Centrica had another unrewarding day, falling a further 1.75p to 63.5p; BG gained 1.5p to 176p.

Whitbread was ruffled by an ABN Amro Hoare Govett "sell" note, falling 13p to 791.5p. Granada's Welcome Break and hotel sales left the shares down 1p at 928.5p. Relief that Asda's Welcome Break bid had been unsuccessful lifted the superstore shares 1.25p to 116p.

Newcomer Infobank, a software house, touched 150p, settling at 144p. Placing price was 125p. Computer group CMG was again in demand. The shares jumped 40p to a 1,165p peak.

The day's profit warning appeared from video group VTR, down 20p at 55.5p.

Fortune Oil slipped 0.25p to 14.75p. A near 1.5 million share trade at 13.5p was recorded in late trading. The company has warned it plans a rights issue to help finance its joint aircraft refuelling services venture at 16 airports in southern China.

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Life and Style
Customers look at the new iPhones on display at the launch of the new Apple iPhone 6 and iphone 6 plus at the Apple IFC store in Hong Kong
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

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

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Audit Manager Central Functions

To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...

Credit Risk Audit Manager

Up to £90,000 + benefits: Saxton Leigh: Credit Risk Audit Manager required to ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week