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London up on telecoms

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by Elaine Frei

In London on Thursday the equities markets finished higher at the end of a holiday-shortened week. The FTSE 100 added 0.4 percent to 6,029.4 and the FTSE 250 closed at 9,775.0, an advance of 0.8 percent.

Bid rumors were still common. In the telecommunications sector, Vodafone gained 3.2 percent to 128¼p, benefiting from continued rumors that US company Verizon Communications might offer for it. Meanwhile, pub and bar group Mitchells & Butlers was up substantially after a group led by Robert Tchenguiz admitted that they have approached M&B. The news sent M&B up by 7.3 percent to 497½p.

Upgrades from UBS also worked in favor of some shares. Chipmaker CSR advanced by 5.4 percent to £12.65 after UBS raised its target share price from £12.50 to £14.50. Likewise, VT Group added 4.7 percent on an increase of its target share price from 540p to 600p.

In the internet gaming sector, PartyGaming gained 4.7 percent to 151¾p ahead of a trading update due next Tuesday.

Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce Group was up after it announced that it is now addressing its pension fund deficit with its UK pension funds. R-R rose 2.6 percent to 480p.

Miners were down after recent gains, with Anglo American losing 1.1 percent to £23.66. Banks didn’t fare much better. Northern Rock, for example, lost 1 percent to £10.98.

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News posted: April 13, 2006

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