Markets: Imperial shrugs off Scots tobacco ban

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SHARES in cigarette maker Imperial Tobacco shrugged off yesterday’s supreme court ruling that will allow the Scottish Government to ban the display of tobacco products in shops.

Imperial Tobacco had appealed against a Court of Session decision to let the ban go ahead, but has now had its hopes of overturning the ruling dashed.

The stock closed down 3p at 2,466p as the loss of the court case – and the relatively-small size of the Scottish market compared to England, where a ban is already in force – was probably already factored into the share price.

The broader FTSE 100 index was lifted in part by surprisingly-good employment figures, closing up 20.88 points at 5,945.85, with traders also anticipating the Federal Reserve unveiling its “Son of Twist” bond-buying programme.

Fashion chain SuperGroup reported a 13 per cent rise in underlying half-year profits to £14.7 million but shares failed to respond to the update as Numis Securities said the profits figure was short of its £17.4m estimate.

Shares in the FTSE 250 Index company fell by 6.6 per cent or 39.5p to close at 557p.

Fife-based eye scanner maker Optos announced that it had awarded shares to chief executive Roy Davis and finance director Louisa Burdett under its bonus scheme.

NEW YORK: Wall Street ended little changed last night, giving up most of the day’s gains after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated that monetary policy won’t be enough to offset the “fiscal cliff.”

The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 2.99 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 13,245.45 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.64 of a point, or 0.05 per cent, to finish at 1,428.48.