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Friday 29th of August 2008
March 29, 2006

London markets recover


by Elaine Frei

The London equities markets were up on Wednesday after losses over the two previous trading sessions. The FTSE 100 added 0.5 percent to 5,959.2, earning back nearly a fourth of the ground it had lost on Monday and Tuesday. Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 was up by 0.1 percent to 9,820.8. 3.3 billion shares were traded on the day.

Supermarket operator J Sainsbury added 1.6 percent to 332½p on its fifth quarterly gain in sales in a row.

In the retail sector, Marks & Spencer also gained 1.6 percent, to 558½p, amid rumors, discounted by some, that it is about to announce its expansion into India and will locate up to 200 stores there.

Mergers and acquisitions talk also gained speed again. In the banking sector, the RBS was 0.7 percent higher to £18.52 on talk that US bank Wachovia is thinking of bidding £26 per share for RBS. Citigroup is also said to be interested.

In the oil sector, BG Group added 4.3 percent to hit a record high share price of 734p after Exxon was reported to be interested in bidding on the company, to the tune of as much as 900p per share. Exxon is said to be interested in BG’s Kazakhstan holdings.

Elsewhere in the oil sector, Burren Energy lost 7.3 percent to 953p on a report that Tullow Oil had come up dry in a well it had been developing at the M’Boundi oil field in Congo, West Africa. Burren holds 31 percent of the rights in that field as opposed to Tullow’s 11 percent. Tullow lost 0.1 percent to 348½p on the announcement.

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