German sentiment aids FTSE bounce

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THE London market staged a partial recovery yesterday on news that German business sentiment was running high.

The FTSE 100 Index closed up 44.2 points at 6,335.7 – above where it started the week despite Thursday’s 1.6 per cent rout.

Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads, said: “A valiant attempt by the bulls has seen only a partial recovery in the FTSE 100 that was lifted by yet another strong German business survey, rather a recurring theme this week.”

Among the many blue-chip risers, ITV was again higher as takeover speculation and the prospect of next week’s full-year results helped its shares improve 0.7p to 121.1p. Shares have risen to their highest level in nearly six years as other merger and acquisition activity – including the takeover of Virgin Media by Liberty Global – reinforced expectations that the broadcaster is ripe for a deal.

Another top-flight stock at multi-year highs has been fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown, which climbed a further 2 per cent or 14p to 856.5p.

Sainsbury’s was a notable riser after Citigroup introduced a “buy” rating on the stock because of the retailer’s stable near-term outlook. Shares were 7.2p higher at 345p.

But security group G4S dropped 2.7p to 287.1p after HSBC downgraded its rating on the stock to “underweight”. The broker noted pressure on pricing for manned security services in many developed markets and said there was a danger that this will make cost recovery difficult.

Outside the top flight, housebuilders were making progress ahead of the sector’s results season. Persimmon topped the FTSE 250 risers’ board with a gain of 47p to 909.5p, while Taylor Wimpey was 2.5p higher at 79.4p.

NEW YORK: Wall Street rose last night as Dow component Hewlett-Packard surged on strong results and Ben Bernanke’s reported comments eased fears the Fed would curtail stimulus measures.

The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 119.95 points, or 0.86 per cent, to end at 14,000.57 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 13.18 points, or 0.88 pecent, to finish at 1,515.60. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 30.33 points, or 0.97 per cent, to close at 3,161.82.