Closing up 12.5 points at 3,999.90 this afternoon, the FTSE again played with the psychologically im...
Closing up 12.5 points at 3,999.90 this afternoon, the FTSE again played with the psychologically important 4,000 level after more good news from retailers, and signs that mobile telecoms could be performing better than expected.
Vodafone did not lead the gainers in terms of share price rise, but added more than 6 points to the overall index because of its weighting after Japanese telecoms giant NTT reported that strong earnings from its wireless businesses helped offset a downturn in revenues from its fixed line businesses – Vodafone shares ended up 2.25p at 122.75p.
Top share price performer was Alliance Unichem, the healthcare products distributor, which gained 25p to 498p.
Marks & Spencer was not far behind, however, adding 13.75p to 315p as the retail sector continued to burn following yesterday's bidding fever – new retail figures showed a sharp increase in UK retailing in April.
WPP, the advertising group, rose 17.25p to 473.75p after competitor Havas reported a strong reduction in debt, despite continued falling sales.
SAB Miller managed a 13.5p gain to 459.5p after indicating it will mount a strong challenge to the South African government's plans to further split manufacturing and distribution of alcoholic beverages.
Xstrata, the mining company, lost 13.5p to close at 364.5p.
The FTSE 250 index closed up 45.1 points at 4,609.9.
Informa Group led with an 18p gain to 204.5p after somebody put an order in for a large number of shares at a higher price following yesterday's close.
Geest, the supplier of frozen foods, dropped 24.5p to 489p after analysts at ABN Amro downgraded the stock to 'reduce' from 'hold'.
US markets have started the day on mixed paths: the Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently down 26 points to 8,699, but Nasdaq's Composite index is up 2 points to 1,543.
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