German firm Siemens and Japanese engineering giant Mitsubishi excited investors with a fresh €7 billion (£5.6bn) offer for Alstom in their battle with US firm General Electric to acquire the French firm’s energy assets.
Siemens is looking to buy Alstom’s gas turbines business, while Mitsubishi has proposed three joint ventures with the company and the acquisition of a 10 per cent stake in the business. General Electric (GE) has offered $16.9bn for Alstom’s energy business, a bid which has been accepted by the board.
Global indices remained in the red as investors were unsettled by turmoil in Iraq and the prospect of a meeting of US monetary chiefs later this week.The latest slide saw the FTSE 100 index fall 23.21 points to close at 6754.64, adding to a near 1 per cent fall on Friday.
It came as the pound briefly touched $1.70 against the US dollar on expectations that the Bank of England could increase interest rates as soon as October.
The US Federal Reserve is also likely to continue the tapering of its quantitative easing programme tomorrow, with analysts not expecting policymakers to alter the scale of the reduction due to the conflict in Iraq.
In UK equities, mining stocks saw a decent session as commodity prices rose. Silver miner Fresnillo lifted 15p to 822p and BHP Billiton added 25p to 1865p.
The prospect of rising fuel costs meant EasyJet fell 22p to 1435p, although British Airways owner International Airlines Group steadied after recent losses to finish just 0.8p lower at 378.1p. Other FTSE 100 fallers included London Stock Exchange, down 47p at 1920p, BT down 9.4p at 384.9p, Melrose Industries, down 6.3p at 273.9p, and Experian, down 23p at 1,005p.
New York: US. stocks closed slightly higher last night, supported by a flurry of merger news, but gains were limited as investors kept a close watch on rising oil prices caused by turmoil in Iraq.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.27 points or 0.03 per cent, to end the day at 16,781.01 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 1.62 points, or 0.08 per cent, finishing at 1,937.78. The Nasdaq Composite added 10.45 points or 0.24 per cent, to close at 4,321.11.