Investors showed their support for the FTSE 100 staying at a level above 4,200 by ending three days ...
Investors showed their support for the FTSE 100 staying at a level above 4,200 by ending three days of losses today. Better than expected company results had no small part in this change.
Exel, the biggest logistics firm, said it would meet analysts' full-year forecasts. P&O reported narrowing losses as its UK ports operations saw business grow in the first half. And BAE Systems reported a smaller loss compared to this time last year. These may not be "sexy" shares, but they do indicate that the UK economy is growing faster again, boosting demand for shipping services and other support services.
Telecommunications held its place through gains by MmO2 and Vodafone. The former jumped 6% on a raft of 'buy' notes, while the latter gained 3%.
Lady luck was less present for ICI, which has managed to shed 12% by extending its losing streak which started last Wednesday. The company is try to cut costs by offloading employees, but until there is a secure change in its markets, most analysts remain hesitant about putting the stock back on their buy list.
Royal & Sun Alliance shed more than 8% of its value on fears its rights issue will fail to put the company on a growth path again.
Cable & Wireless still leads the table of returns over 12 months, making investors 173% richer over the period.
Investors are also cleaner, according to results from FTSE 250 member Cussons. The maker of Imperial Leather soap jumped 14% after reporting a rise in earnings and increasing the dividend.
Woolworths continued its recovery by posting impressive second-quarter sales figures that drove shares up nearly 13%.
Transport did well, with Arriva up 6% and National Express up 2% after reports that earnings are improving from rail businesses.
Next week could see interest return to the biotech and smaller pharmaceuticals sectors with results due from Acambis, Oxford Biomedica and PPL Theraputics.
The FTSE 100 was up 24 points to 4,265 by 11.30 today.
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