London markets rise

| February 21, 2006 | 0 Comments

The equities markets in London were up in mid-day trading on Tuesday, led by advances in the energy sector brought on by bidding wars on the continent.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.3 percent to 5,882.3 and the FTSE 250 advanced by the same percentage to 9.481.0.

While Eon and Gas Natural fought it out to see which firm would be able to acquire Endsea, buying among utilities listed on the London exchanges accelerated. International Power was up 3.8 percent to 285p and Centrica gained 3.7 percent to 307p, while Scottish & Southern Energy reached a record share price of £11.76, up 3.1 percent. British Energy gained 1.8 percent to 630¾p, helped by an upgrade from “sell” to “hold” by Citigroup, which also boosted British Energy’s target price from 360p to 530p.

Elsewhere, Numis securities upgraded online gaming company Partygaming from “hold” to “add”, helping Partygaming to a gain of 3.2 percent to 122½p. The upgrade came after a legal dispute with Empire Online had been settled. Empire Online gained 0.8 percent to 119p.

Credit Suisse, however, downgraded cruise ship operator Carnival from “outperform” to “neutral” after bookings were lower than expected even after promotions had been increased. Carnival dropped 2.6 percent to £31.86.

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