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rIntriguing rumours about Grand Metropolitan swirled after the market closed. With its ADRs up sharply there was renewed talk that it planned to sell off its Burger King fast food operation.

Stories that Grand Met plans a big deal have circulated for some time. There was talk of one US securities house, said to be Merrill Lynch, bidding up to 440p a share against a market price little changed at 422.5p. The shares have had a miserable few years.

rForward Technology, the ultrasonic and video cassettes group, had a comparatively lively time, gaining 2p to 77p but closing at 73p. Interim results are due soon and for the year the group could produce pounds 2.8m against pounds 1.8m. There is also talk of a takeover bid.