The FTSE 100 closed up for the second day in a row this week - but only just - led by drinks giants Allied Domecq, Diageo and SABMiller.
A fractional FTSE 100 climb of 3.3 points to 4545.3 reversed the 21 points fall earlier in the day, prompted by an announcement from Allied Domecq’s chief executive, Philip Bowman, suggesting the firm may have underestimated its profit forecasts.
The makers of Malibu rum gained 10.75p or 2.4% to 454.25p as a result, while its rival Diageo – manufacturers of Smirnoff Vodka and Gordon’s Gin - made the most of it and gained 24.5p or 3.4% to 753.5p while SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewer, saw its share price rise 18.5p or 3.2% to 599.5p.
William Morrison – which at the end of last year bought rival supermarket chain Safeway – also saw its share price climb 5.75p or 2.3% to a record 253.25p thanks a ratings and price upgrade from UBS.
Countrywide Assured the real-estate agency which is now spinning off its life-insurance unit – also hit its highest level in over four years, having gained 2.9% to 179.5p. This is not too surprising really, as the firm announced a 7.7% rise in profits and then declared shareholders each get a piece of £85m once the spin-off is completed.
And Wembley, the betting company which was being purchased by US casino operator MGM Mirage seems to have created a bidding war as investment club BLB Investors, Starwood Capital Group LLC and Waterford Group LLC are all said to be making a rival bid for Wembley.
Manchester United’s collapse out of the Champions League last night shows just how much some clubs’ profit margins can be affected by broadcasting and ticket revenue from the big games. The football club’s share price today closed down 3p or 1.1% to 264.25p.
In the US, both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 indices were down a fraction by close of business in London, while the Nasdaq is flat in trading.
The S&P 500 index is off 0.25% to 1,137.7 and the Dow Jones has dropped 0.26% to 10,429 while the Nasdaq is up a quarter point to 1,995.4.IFAonline
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