Telecom stocks helped to keep the FTSE afloat by the close of business today, but it could have look...
Telecom stocks helped to keep the FTSE afloat by the close of business today, but it could have looked much worse given that GlaxoSmithKline may face Internal Revenue Service litigation over alleged non-payment of U.S. taxes, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The FTSE 100 gained 6.6 points to 4934.80, having dropped as much as 0.8% earlier in the day, largely because Vodafone added enough to wipe out Glaxo's losses.
Vodafone climbed 2.5 pence, or 2.6%, to 99.5p after Nokia, the world's largest maker of mobile handsets, reiterated its estimate for earnings per share of between 18 euro cents and 20 cents this quarter.
BT Group also gained 10.75p, or 4%, to 279p, but Glaxo dropped 49p, or 3.5%, to 1,361p as it may have to pay around ten years worth of tax on at least six top-selling drugs.
First Choice Holidays managed to climb 6.5p, or 6%, to 115p assumer and winter bookings picked up after Easter, and Europe's fourth largest travel firm is now expected to meet analysts' forecasts for full-year pretax profits.
Friends Provident also gained 6p, or 3.9%, to 158.5p following the purchase of Royal & Sun Alliance's offshore divisions in the Isle of Man and Luxembourg for £133m cash.
Over in the US, activity is bouncing around a little as Glaxo's bad news is now influencing the US stockmarkets.
The S&P 500 index is currently down 2.94 points to 1028.34, led by Abbott Laboratories, Merck & Co, as well as Pfizer. The Dow Jones is down 0.83 points to 9644.57 while the Nasdaq Composite index has lost 1.76 to 1528.93.
They have been kept higher than expected thanks to Nokia and Nextel Communications, as both firms have reported they will meet profit forecasts.
Citigroup also gained after the world's largest financial services firm shuffled its top management in prepartion for the succession of its chairman Sanford Weill.
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