Most European indices headed up this afternoon despite a poor showing by US stocks, and the FTSE 100...
Most European indices headed up this afternoon despite a poor showing by US stocks, and the FTSE 100 managed to close up 94.90 points to 3,578.70.
Astrazenica had a huge lift after its chief executive Tom McKillop said the company was likely to get sales approval for a new anti-cholesterol drug in the US this year, and shares jumped 156p to £20.78 as a result.
British Airways jumped 10.75p to 116p after the European Commission said it was warning national EU governments they were not allowed to negotiate new air traffic agreements with the US.
Instead, a European Court of Justice ruling means the EC will be able to negotiate a single agreement between the EU and the US, which could open the way for BA to take up merger talks with KLM that were ditched two years ago.
BP dropped for a similar reason: the EU today said it would ban sulphur in petrol, which could increase costs for producers, and the UK's biggest oil stock lost 0.5p to 382.5p.
BAT took a 1p hit to 565p after a US court started hearing evidence in a cancer related lawsuit.
Mid-cap stocks in the FTSE 250 also had a good day, and the index gained 35.6p to 4,021.6.
Britannic managed to turn around the woes of the past few days, adding 15p to 116p as investors started to believe its statement released yesterday that its solvency margins were not in any danger.
Xansa kept heading south today, and the software and service company lost another 4.5p to 53.5p – last week it stood at 61.5p.
Stocks in the US are having a hard time.
Boeing has made some bullish noises about earnings growth, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average is still down more than 60 points at 8,046 at present.
Most European markets made gains today, apart from the DAX, which is still trading and is currently down about 31 points at 2,674.
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