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FTSE 250 hits a new high

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by Elaine Frei

London equities markets were higher on Tuesday due to advances in a wide variety of sectors. The FTSE 100 added 0.7 percent to 6,072.7, while the FTSE 250 gained 0.9 percent to a new high of 10,244.5.

Asset managers had a good day as Schroders added 4.2 percent to £10.04, Amvescap gained 5.3 percent to 629p, and Man Group was 8.2 percent higher to 478p. Amvescap benefited from the news that the funds under its management have gone up from $428.9 billion in August to $440 billion in September. The September figure was a full $2 billion higher than some estimates.

In the telecommunications sector, Vodafone added 2.6 percent to 120¼p on an upgrade to “outperform” by Bernstein Research, which also set a target share price of 155p for the telecom company.

The oil sector was higher on gains in exploration companies despite another drop in crude oil prices. Premier Oil advanced by 4.5 percent to £11.70, a record high. Dana Petroleum, rumored to be interested in Premier, added 6.4 percent to £12.62. Tullow Oil and JKX Oil & Gas were both 6.1 percent higher, to 391p and 290p respectively.

Plumber and building materials company Wolseley added 3.9 percent to £12.11 on positive comments from JP Morgan concerning US homebuilders. Wolseley gains around 60 percent of its revenues from the US market every year.

Among losers on the session, Shire dropped 4.6 percent to 961p as investors decided that its 15 percent advance on Monday was out of proportion to the news that the drug maker had gained approval for its hyperactivity drug, NRP 104, for use in the United States.

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News posted: October 10, 2006

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