Finance Markets

March 21, 2006

London markets end flat

Permalink: London markets end flat

Filed under: Equities, Economy, UK

London equities markets were down so slightly on Tuesday that they closed virtually flat on the day. The FTSE 100 lost only 0.4 point to close at 5,991.3, while the FTSE 250 lost 4.9 points to close at 9,810.1. Trade was at 3.2 billion shares for the day.

In the steel sector, Corus Group gained 11.3 percent to 90p, its highest price since July 2000. The gains came on news that it was holding talks with Russian Evraz Group about a possible merger. Also leading to the advance was a move by UBS to raise Corus Group’s target share price from 85p to 105p.

Takeover rumors revived in the telecommunications sector, with talk circulating that Cable & Wireless could be a target, with private equity groups, France Telecom, and even Vodafone being named as possible bidders. C&W’s shares gained 6.4 percent on the day to 112¾p and 150 million shares in the company were traded. Colt Telecom was also a rumored target of a takeover bid, lifting Colt’s shares by 5.7 percent to 74p.

Bid rumors also lifted BG Group once again, sending its shares up 1.1 percent to 716½p.

In the retail sector, GUS was up 1.1 percent to £10.92 on a report from Deutsche Bank that the group will likely announce a break-up soon, possibly through a demerger of its credit assessment unit.

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