TUESDAY MARKET CLOSE: FTSE rings up gains despite Vodafone slide

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A poor reception for Vodafone’s outlook and official figures showing the UK has slipped into deflation failed to prevent London’s top-flight index making gains.

After posting annual earnings of £11.9 billion, the mobile phone giant predicted a figure of between £11.5bn and £12bn for the current year, sending its shares down 7.5p or 3.2 per cent to end the session at 226.6p.

However, the FTSE 100 shrugged off the slide, rising 26.23 points to close at 6,995.1.

Attention was also focused on the outlook for borrowing costs as the consumer prices index dipped to minus 0.1 per cent, fuelling expectations that rates will remain on hold at 0.5 per cent for the rest of this year.

Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “News of deflation may have offered a number of stocks some support as it keeps any plans by the Bank of England to hike interest rates firmly at bay, but with heavyweight miners languishing, it’s no surprise the London blue-chip index has found itself held back. Whether the FTSE 100 can make a sustained move higher from here any time soon however remains to be seen.”

One of the biggest blue-chip risers was Buchanan Galleries parent Land Securities. The property firm reported a better-than-expected 26 per cent jump in its net asset value, and shares gained 52p or 4 per cent to end the day at 1,363p. Rival Intu Properties, owner of the Braehead shopping centre, rose 10.7p to 354.1p and Hammerson lifted 15p to 703.5p.

Outside the top flight, price comparison site Moneysupermarket dropped 8.4p or 2.8 per cent to 294.1p after founder Simon Nixon cut his stake in the firm to 12.8 per cent. He remains on the company’s board as a non-executive director.

Premier Foods was 1.25p cheaper at 45.75p after the maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy said trading profits dipped 6.4 per cent last year.