The FTSE 100 index gained about 41 points to 4,201 today as the market opened with the news that Fra...
The FTSE 100 index gained about 41 points to 4,201 today as the market opened with the news that France Telecom is bidding for the part of Orange it does not already own in preparation for what the former telephone monopoly hopes will be rising profit at the mobile phone company.
The reduced supply of telecoms paper that a successful bid may lead to had dealers flocking to the UK's other main listed mobile phone businesses Vodafone and MmO2.
Vodafone gained 2p to 117.5p and MmO2 rose 2p, or nearly 4%, to 55p.
AstraZenica climbed 61p to 2491p on news that tests of a new blood thinner have been successful.
Prudential gained 9.5p to 446p after announcing a new chief executive of its Japanese and Korean operations.
Pearson is up just 0.75p to 618.75p after broker Collins Stewart said it would sue the Financial Times over its coverage of alleged insider dealing.
Royal & Sun Alliance dropped 1.75p to 137.2p after press reports that it is about to axe a number of senior executives in order to persuade shareholders to back a rights issue.
The FTSE 250 index climbed 26 points to 5,619 after news of an acquisition bid in the building and construction sector.
Wilson Connolly leads the gainers with a 22.5p, or more than 10% rise to 231p after competitor Taylor Woodrow published its bid for the smaller rival.
Taylor Woodrow gained 21p to 249p as analysts said the £490m deal would create the second biggest builder of UK homes, and give Taylor Woodrow the geographic spread needed to boost earnings – 300 promised job cuts will also increase profits.
Collins Stewart, the broker alleged by a former employee to have engaged in insider dealing, is up 25p to 404p after it said it would sue the Financial Times over the paper's coverage of the issue.
Avis Europe is down 6p to 110p after announcing a sharp drop in first-half profit as business customers reduced the amount of travel they did in the company's cars – chief executive Mark McCafferty said he would step down by early 2004.
Overseas, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index closed up 336.63 points, or more than 3% at 10,670.18 as nearly all members made gains – the index is up about a quarter since the start of the year.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index closed up 41.61 points at 9,415.82. The S&P 500 closed up 5.17 points at 1,008.01. Nasdaq's Composite index ended up 10.27 points at 1,810.45.
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