Stock markets in the UK and across Europe had one of their best days this year as share prices surge...
Stock markets in the UK and across Europe had one of their best days this year as share prices surged on continued news indicating advances by coalition forces in Iraq.
Germany's Dax 30 index surged nearly 5%, and the FTSE 100 index here held onto and extended its gains made this morning, closing up 68.60 points at 3,753.40.
Cable & Wireless' recovery continued after it named a new chief executive this morning and the stock finished up 8.25p at 79.25p - it is now up 35% since the start of the year.
Investors pushed Granada up more than 10% or 6.25p to 66.25p on bets new competition rulings will be made simpler and speed up a possible merger with Carlton Communications, and on hopes that the end of war in Iraq will persuade clients to start buying more advertising time.
Friends Provident moved up 6.5p to 85.25p Aviva climbed 24.75p to 379.75p and Prudential gained 20.5p to 336.5p.
Canary Wharf led the 14 stocks making losses, ending the day down 6.75p at 132.5p.
The FTSE 250 mid-caps index gained 57 points to 4,024.3.
Misys led the gainers after analysts at UBS Warburg raised their recommendation to 'buy' from 'neutral', which helped push shares up 15.25p to 170.75p by the close.
R&SA also had a good day, gaining 6.25p to 78.75p after deferring results because of the pending public offering of its Australian and New Zealand business, but also announcing its new chief executive Andy Haste, who has been acting CEO.
Skyepharma reported its first ever full year of profits, but still fell 3p to 45.75p to lead the losers.
Rail operator Firstgroup continued its slide after losing out in a franchise tendering battle yesterday, its shares closed down 9p at 220p.
And in New York at present, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index is up strongly by 232 points to 8,301.
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Short-term noise or something sinister?