The FTSE 100 ended on a high for the third day after it rose 27 points, or 0.51%, to 5344.3, after strong performances from PartyGaming.com and Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group.
PartyGaming.com, the world's largest online poker operator, advanced 6.25p, or 7.2%, to 93.5p, while Royal & Sun, the UK's No. 2 property and casualty insurer, gained 4.25p, or 4.4% to 100.5p, the highest since March 2004.
Meanwhile BAA, the world's largest airfield operator, declined 7p, or 1.1%, to 606.5p after the company said first-half earnings fell to £257m from £418m a year earlier after gains on investment property fell under new accounting rules.
TTP Communications, whose wireless software powers the Blackberry handheld e-mailer, also slid 4.5p, or 15%, to 25.5p, for their biggest fall since August 2003. The company reported a first-half net loss of £16.2m as competition intensified in Asian markets.
Elsewhere, P&O, the UK's largest ports operator, gained 13.5p, or 3.3%, to 417.5p, it’s highest point since January 2000, after news of a takeover approach by the Dubai government. There are also reports that Temasek Holdings, the Singapore government's investment company, and A.P. Moeller- Maersk A/S, the world's biggest shipping company, may also bid for P&O.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently down 6.08 points, or 0.06%, to 10433.99, despite initial gains at its opening a short time ago, thanks to McDonalds. A report showing a jump in prices for manufacturers has weighed on stocks, renewing concern about inflation ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting later today.
McDonald's has rallied $0.52, or 1.65%, to $32.12 for the best performance in the Dow average so far. Vornado Realty Trust, the No.3 US real estate investment trust, said it had acquired 858,000 McDonald's shares and holds an interest in 14.6 million more through options. Vornado's total investment represents 1.2% of the world's largest restaurant chain's outstanding shares, which has helped Vornado advance $0.72 to $81.
Procter and Gamble, the largest US household-goods maker, has fallen $0.62 to $55.88 despite earlier gains to $56.72, after the company said first-quarter profit was $0.77 a share, exceeding its forecast. Meanwhile Viacom has added $0.48 to $31.53, after it reported third-quarter earnings of $0.45 a share, compared with a loss of $0.28 a year earlier.
Computer Sciences, the No. 5 US computer-services company, has jumped $7.11 to $58.36, after reports Lockheed Martin and three private-equity companies are discussing a purchase price for Computer Sciences for as much as $65 a share.
Elsewhere Intel is the biggest loser of the day as it has suffered a drop of $0.58, or 2.47%, to $22.92.IFAonline
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