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August 14, 2006    

London trade volumes low, but FTSE sees gains

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by Elaine Frei

British Airways was 1.9 percent higher to 377p in London on Monday as the government in the UK lowered its alert level from “critical” to “severe” after the arrest last week of a number of individuals who were said to have planned to bomb flights from London to the United States. The gain helped the FTSE 100 add 0.8 percent to 5,870.9 and the FTSE 250 to gain 0.5 percent to 9,303.9. Volume was extremely low at fewer than 2 billion shares traded on the session.

After a 10 percent decline on Friday, fund manager Schroders was 6.5 percent higher to 929p.

Among banks, Lloyds TSB was up by 1.5 percent to 514½p as Goldman Sachs took Lloyds off its “conviction sell” list but still maintined its “sell” recommendation. Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch added Barclays to its list of top picks and reiterated its target share price of 878p. Barclays was up 2.1 percent to 649p on the session.

Shares in property companies were up, led by British Land, up 1.1 percent to £13.75 ahead of quarterly results due on Tuesday.

Among decliners on the day was BT Group, which was 0.9 percent lower to 240½p after a downgrade by Cazenove from “outperform” to “inline” following on a profits warning issued last week by Deutsche Telekom. Also down on the day was PartyGaming, which dropped 3.5 percent to 105¼p.

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