British tobacco sector advances
The London equities markets were higher on Wednesday on gains in the tobacco and oil sectors. The oil sector was higher after US inventory numbers showed that stockpiles of crude oil, gasoline, and heating oil were all lower last week. The FTSE 100 added 0.5 percent to 6,214.6 percent, while the FTSE 250 gained 0.2 percent to close at 10,425.4, another new record.
Imperial Tobacco Group was 1.6 percent higher to £18.55 ahead of its full-year report, due next week. British American Tobacco, which is scheduled to release its third quarter report later on Wednesday, added 2.5 percent to £14.82 on strong results from Reynolds American. BAT holds 42 percent of Reynolds, which also learned that a US appeals court on the federal level will hear arguments concerning whether a case looking for $200 billion from tobacco companies can be conducted as a class action suit. Meanwhile, Gallaher gained 3.1 percent to 884½p on bids rumors and positive comments.
The pharmaceuticals sector was mixed after UBS upgraded the sector to “overweight”. GlaxoSmithKline added 1.5 percent to £15.11 ahead of the announcement of its third quarter results, but AstraZeneca fell 1.2 percent to £35.92.
Chipmaker Wolfson Microelectronics added 6.4 percent to 287¼p on a perceived vulnerability to bids and on an upgrade to “buy” from Bridgewell Securities. Meanwhile, software maker Misys added 2.4 percent to 205p on the news that an activist group of investors from the US had taken a 4.4 percent stake in the company and on a reiteration of a “buy” recommendation from UBS.