US stock markets opened down this afternoon, paring earlier gains by the FTSE 100 index, which still managed to close up 8.4 points at 4,515.90.
Tomkins added most, up 12p to 261.5p after reporting a jump in quarterly earnings.
BG Group gained 12.5p to 323.75p after bid speculation hit the stock. Some investors are betting that a bigger oil major will attempt to grab the gas exploration and extraction company.
BAE Systems added 5.25p to 189.5p on its reported 2003 full-year profit, including a stronger second half pushed by contract wins in the US defence market.
British Airways climbed 6p to 314p after another industry report pointed to growing passenger numbers.
Abbey closed down 65p at 485p after reporting another full year of losses linked to its previous move into corporate banking.
Legal & General shares declined 2p to 101p, as it too reported results, albeit including profits rather than losses.
The FTSE 250 gained 15 points to 6,259.8.
Spirent, the telecoms testing equipment maker, gained 5.25p to 85.25p after analysts at Smith Barney raised the stock to a ‘buy’.
MFI dropped 10.5p to 150p after reporting slow sales in the last quarter of 2003.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index is down about 26 points to 10,547 after shares in Boeing fell on rumours of a delayed government contract, and Starbucks fell on a statement it sees growth of its business slowing this year.IFAonline
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