London markets up on M&A

In London on Wednesday, the London equities markets continued to rally, with the FTSE 100 closing up 0.7 percent to 6,044.1, ita��s highest close since February 2001. The FTSE 250, meanwhile, ended the day up 0.4 percent to 9,935.0, its highest close ever.

The telecommunications sector saw gains, with Vodafone up 1.5 percent to 190A?p as rumors continued to circulate that the company has nearly closed a deal with Verizon Communications to sell its shares in Verizon Wireless. Verizon discounted the speculation. Elsewhere in the sector, Cable & Wireless added 0.5 percent to 107A?p.

In the mining sector, Xstrata added 2.5 percent to A?19.88 as it was reported that Campanhia Vale do Rio Doce, the largest mining company in the Americas, wanted to make a deal for the company. Another company said to be interested in Xstrata, Anglo American, gained 2 percent to A?23.74. Merrill Lynch upgrades helped other miners. Rio Tinto was up 3 percent to A?31.35, while BHP Billiton added 2.2 percent to A?11.47. Still in the metals mining area, Johnson Matthey was up 2.4 percent to A?14.40 on an upgrade from Citigroup. Aquarius Platinum advanced by 6.7 percent to 865p and Lonmin gained 2.9 percent to A?28.02.

In the oil sector, BP added 1.6 percent to 675p.

Brewer Scottish & Newcastle was up 5.2 percent to 544p as rumors had several rivals considering takeover bids. One of the companies said to be interested is SAB Miller, which was down 0.9 percent on the day to A?11.34.

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