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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
May 23, 2006

FTSE 250 in record gain


by Elaine Frei

After big declines on Monday, the London equities markets were significantly on Tuesday. The FTSE 100 saw its largest percentage gain since April of 2003, adding 2.6 percent on the day to 5,678.7. Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 put on the most points on one day in its history, gaining 405.7 points, 4.6 percent, to 9,234.3.

Only six companies on the 100 declined on the day. Among those were retailer Marks & Spencer, which lost 3.2 percent to 549p on a disappointing full year report, which included only a 5 percent increase in sales at its refurbished stores. Also down on the day was mobile phone group Vodafone, which was down 1 percent to 116¾p ahead of an earnings report due next week.

Commodities prices were on the rise once again, leading to steep gains on the mining and oil sectors. Among miners, Kazakhmys was up 13 percent to £10.82. Xstrata added 10 percent to £19.42, while Antofagasta gained 9.7 percent to £20.72.

Gains in the oil sector were not as large, but were still substantial. BP and BG Group each added 4.2 percent, to 635p and 673p respectively. Royal Dutch Shell gained 3.8 percent to close at £18.78.

The real estate sector saw big gains, as well. Hammerson and Liberty International were each up 7 percent on the day, to £11.23 and £10.42 respectively. British Land gained 6.4 percent to £12.38 after it said that its net asset value had climbed 32 percent and announced that it would change over to a tax-efficient investment trust status as quickly as it could. Land Securities advanced by 5.6 percent to £17.80 on an upgrade from Merrill Lynch.

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