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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
December 5, 2006

UK oil sector higher on broker comments


by Elaine Frei

The London equities markets were higher on Tuesday, with the FTSE 100 adding 0.6 percent to 6,086.4 and the FTSE 250 up 0.7 percent to 10,834.1. The oil and mining sectors helped in the gains.

In the telecommunications sector, Carphone Warehouse was 7.6 percent higher to 291¾p after its chief executive told Merrill Lynch Monday night that it has gotten back some contract business from Vodafone.

Premier Foods added 6.9 percent to 301½p as rumors circulated that the private equity owners of United Biscuits would be interested in a takeover attempt. Most analysts did not credit the possibility, however, and put the gains more to the recent bid by Premier for rival RHM, which gained 5.7 percent to 377¾p. If the Premier/RHM deal goes through the company created will be the UK’s leading food producer.

In the oil sector, BP was 1.8 percent higher to 578p when UBS named it one of its top picks for next year. Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell added 2 percent to £18.25 after ABN Amro raised its recommendation to “buy”.

Among miners, Anglo American was up 3.2 percent to £24.55 on talk that Larry Yung was interested in further building his stake in the company. Higher copper prices sent both Kazakhmys and Antofagasta higher as well. Kazakhmys added 3.1 percent to £12.17, while Antofagasta gained 4.6 percent to 530p.

In the tobacco sector, Gallaher was 3 percent higher to 986½p on expectations of consolidation within the sector. However, SG Securities reiterated its “sell” recommendation on the tobacco company on the basis that it was an unlikely takeover target.

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