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Thursday 25th of September 2008
July 26, 2005

Telecommunications stocks see heavy trading in London


by Brian Turner
UK gilts mixed on security concerns

In London on Tuesday, the FTSE 100 lost 0.3 percent to 5,256.2, while the FTSE 250 was down 0.1 percent to 7,493.3.

Trading was light at 2.6 billion shares. While trade was considered light overall, trade in telecommunications stocks was heavy.

Vodafone, BT Group, Cable & Wireless, and O2 all saw heavy volume. O2 alone saw 164 million shares traded, 100 million more than its daily average.

Cable & Wireless gained 3.6 percent to 158 ¾p, Vodafone added 2.4 percent to 148 ¾p, BT was up 1.3 percent to 232 ¼p, and O2 was up 0.9 percent to 142 ¾p.

In the oil sector, BP lost 2 percent to close at 629 ½p after much higher than expected costs connected to a refinery explosion in Texas in March overshadowed a hike in second quarter profits and a larger dividend payout.

Reuters was also a loser on the day, falling 7.4 percent to 381 ¾p on an expectation of slow growth in 2006-2007 by some analysts and despite a good interim report. British Airways was down as well, losing 1 percent to 271 ¾p on a downgrade to “underweight” from “equalweight” from Morgan Stanley.

The Pharmaceutical sector was mixed. AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, both scheduled to release quarterly earnings reports tomorrow, were each down by 1 percent, with AstraZeneca shares worth £23.28 and shares in GlaxoSmithKline worth £13.21.

Shire Pharmaceuticals, however, gained 0.3 percent to 644p ahead of shareholders meetings slated to vote on the company’s takeover of Transkaryotic Therapies. The deal is expected to be approved even though a significant minority of the company’s US investors are not in favor of the transaction.

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