The FTSE 100 closed at its highest level so far this year, as a range of different-sized firms lead ...
The FTSE 100 closed at its highest level so far this year, as a range of different-sized firms lead strong trading today on the London indices.
Pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca drove trading on the FTSE 100 – which today closed up 32.6 points or 0.8% to 4212.3 and its highest level so far this year – after analysts improved its position to 'buy'. AstraZeneca closed up 46p or 1.8% t0 £25.82.
Countrywide Assured, the estate agents, has also seen confidence from the market after declaring the 2003 profit will exceed expectations. Countrywide closed up 13.5p or 11% to 135p.
Car sales firm Pendragon – which is now the world's largest seller of the Jaguar car – said first-half profit rose 56% after selling unprofitable divisions. Its share price climbed 12.5p or 5.6% to236p.
However, Portmeirion Group, a UK-based pottery and ceramics maker which also has oerations in the US and Asia, said US sales affected the fall in profit to £319,000. Shares closed down 12.5p or 6.4% to 182.5p.
And in the US, trading is equally as good, after the government said unemployment has fallen, indicating that the market could be improving.
The S&P 500 index is so far up 4.71 points or 0.5% to 988.74, led by Texas Instruments, while the Dow Jones has risen 34.59 points or 0.4% to 9306.35 and the Nasdaq has gained 6.67 points or 0.4% to 1693.28.
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