The FTSE Small Cap Index gained 16.7 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2598.9, its biggest one-day advance ...
The FTSE Small Cap Index gained 16.7 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2598.9, its biggest one-day advance in six weeks. Brown said the tax rate for small companies will drop 1 percentage point to 19 percent.
Oil stocks fells in the UK after Gordon Brown said the government will introduce a 10 percent tax on North Sea oil profits. BT Group gained after Deutsche Bank AG analysts added Europe's No. 3 phone company to their U.K. ``Focus List.''
The FTSE 100 Index rose 4 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5263.9, paring a gain of as much as 0.6 percent. Without BP and Shell, it would have climbed about 14 points. Two shares rose for every one that fell in the FTSE All Share Index, which added 3.43 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2556.20.
BP dropped 7 pence or 1.2 percent, to 598p. Shell Transport & Trading, which owns
40 percent of Royal Dutch/Shell Group, fell 8p, or 1.6 percent, to 507, and BG Group, the natural-gas producer, dropped 6p, or 2 percent, to 302.
Shell also dropped as its stock went ex-dividend, meaning investors who bought the shares won't get the latest payout. The Government is using the budget to raise payroll taxes for the first time in a generation to fund an election promise to boost public services.
Imperial Tobacco Group fell 1.7 percent to 950p after Brown said the tax on cigarettes will rise by 6p a pack. British American Tobacco slipped 2p to 666, erasing a gain of as much as 0.9 percent.
The Dow fell 31.68, or 0.3 percent, to 10,269.29, with Boeing and United Technologies accounting for about three-quarters of the drop. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 1.81 to 1130.24. Intel was the biggest gainer and Pfizer the leading drag on the index. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 7.27, or 0.4 percent, to 1824.01.
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