A subdued day's trade ahead of the Easter holiday saw sparse trading but the FTSE 100 was moderately...
A subdued day's trade ahead of the Easter holiday saw sparse trading but the FTSE 100 was moderately higher on the back old economy strength. Although technology stocks suffered, several heavyweight telecom stocks enjoyed gains.
The FTSE 100 was 51.4 points higher early afternoon to 5652.9.
Old economy stocks were cheered by news that German utility business Eon has launched a 765p-a-share friendly takeover of Powergen, its smaller UK rival. Powergen shares improved only modestly with some city onlookers disappointed by the offer price. Powergen added 13p to 719p.
An optimistic trading statement from Sainsbury lifted its shares as well as its peers. Sainsbury gained 8p to 398.25p but Safeway topped its sector with a rise of 9p to 315p.
Technology stocks were generally weak in the wake of the US's Nasdaq putting in a poor show on Friday. CMG led the fallers with a loss of 39.5p to 391p. But heavyweight telecom stocks enjoyed a decent day's trade with BT high up among the gainers as it advanced 20.5p to 548p, Colt telecom improved 18p to 648p and Vodafone added 5.5p to 208.75p.
One of the day's big losers was Euro Sales Finance, a profit warning from the trade financing company sent its shares plunging well over 60%. The group has been unable to secure the level of financing it had expected to satisfy the demand and growth it should otherwise be enjoying in France and Germany. New client advances and subsequent profits have been restricted. The stock dived 745p to 350p.
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