Despite the wobbly knees in the City over the initial public offering market following Punch Pubs' d...
Despite the wobbly knees in the City over the initial public offering market following Punch Pubs' decision to withdraw an IPO at the last second, and Marconi's record losses announced yesterday, the FTSE 100 index is up by 24 points today to 5,272 on the back of strong showings in the telecoms, oil and banking sectors.
The market here got a boost from the news across the Pond that Dell Computer is expecting second quarter earnings to exceed analysts' expectations.
As Dell is the world's second biggest maker of PCs, this is seen as further evidence of improving corporate earnings in the US.
Unsurprisingly, the UK's biggest tech stocks lead the charge this morning.
Software developer Sage is up nearly 4%, or 7p to 194.5p.
Chip developer ARM is up 5.75p to 277.75p.
Man Group is up 21p to £10.10.
The biggest gainer by index points is Vodafone, which has seen its share price rise 1.5p to 112p, as investors try to figure out if yesterday's news of its increased investments in China is a good use of its cash at present.
News provider Reuters is up 7p to 514p after the news its subsidiary Instinet will make a bid for its leading competitor.
Instinet has been bleeding cash in the battle to carry stock trades in the US, but by acquiring its competitor analysts believe better economies of scale can be had, and costs cut.
Venture capital group 3i continues to ride the wave of its deal to sell out of airline Go - shares are up another 10p to 772p today.
Leading the loser's brigade is Boots: the chemist is the subject of a sell note after hitting a two-year high recently - shares are off by 23.5p to 692p.
South African investor Old Mutual is down by 2.75p to 116p after it admitted that the weak rand is likely to bite into its earnings this year.
Profit takers have hit BT today, following yesterday's gains on its decision to reinstate dividends, the shares are down 4.5p to 274.5p.
The FTSE 250 is also up today - 11 points to 6,172, as investors pile into building stocks.
Wilson Connolly is up 8p to 191.5p, closely followed by Wimpey, up 10p to 295.5p after investors reappraised the effects of this week's Bank of England inflation report and the threat of rising interest rates - shares in building comapanies were initially depressed by fears of rate rises.
The top 10 mid-cap positions are otherwide full of technology firms: Dimension Data up 2.5p to 64.75p, Spirent up 4p to 125.5p, Psion up 1.5p to 49.25p, and CMG up 4p to 146.5p.
Last night the Dow Jones Industrial Average index closed up 45.53 points at 10,289.21, the Nasdaq Composite closed up 4.88 points at 1,730.44.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was up 108.63 points at 11,847.32, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 141.84 at 11,974.62.
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