Trading fell back under its starting point by the close of play on the FTSE, but earlier in the day ...
Trading fell back under its starting point by the close of play on the FTSE, but earlier in the day it was the telecoms stocks took the biggest chunk of the gains after Merrill Lynch increased its global sales forecasts on mobile phones.
It was Corus, the steel manufacturer, which saw confidence fall away after a good day's trading when the US Institute of Supply Management noted demand has fallen for the purchase of certain goods. Corus lost 1.5p or 4.4% to 32.75p because 10% of its business comes from the US, knocking the FTSE 100 by 15.1 points or 0.4% to 4154.3.
Telewest Communications rose 1.32p or 85% to 2.87p after finally agreeing a £2bn bank loan which will keep the UK's second-largest phone company in business.
ARM Holdings, once a struggling semiconductor stock, also leapt 5p or 7.4% to 72.5p, and Vodafone jumped 1.75p or 1.4% to 123.75p thanks to Merrill.
Aberdeen Asset Management also gained 6.5p or 11% to 67p after declaring margins are "steady" and non-essential businesses will be sold.
Pearson, the publishing house behind Financial Advisers and Investors Chronicle, has not had such a good day as its share price has declined 25p or 3.4% to 714.5p. A Deutache Bank analyst altered his recommendation to "hold'' from "buy'' on "valuation grounds.'' Pearson is a rival to Incisive Media, the publishing house behind IFAonline. Incisive Media's shares are currently suspended.
In the US, however, trading is much better as the Christmas shopping season heralds an interest in retail shares.
The S&P 500 added 3.19 points or 0.3% to 939.50 while the Dow Jones gained 3.29 points to 8899.38 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 18.98 points or 1.3% to 1497.76.
Wal-Mart saw its share price earlier rise 99 cents to $55.15 because sales just prior to Thanksgiving totalled $1.43bn, up 14% on last year.
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