Category Investments

Good progress on the FTSE

30 January 2006 Angelo Coppola

The London market made strong progress last week, more than recovering the previous weeks losses, helped by continued bid activity (both actual and speculative) and a slight easing in the oil price.

Quentin Smith from Old Mutual Asset Mangers in theUKreports that The Bank of England expects a pick up in consumer spending, exports and business investment to boost the economy.

Over the week the All-Share Index gained 2.1%, marginally ahead of the FTSE 100, with midcaps continuing to outperform the broader market, advancing 2.7% and smaller companies gaining 1.6%.

Helped by Mittal Steels 18bn bid for Luxembourg steel maker Arcelor, metals was the strongest sector, with chemicals and technology also strong.

The defensive areas of consumer goods and utilities were the weakest performers, with tobacco the only sector to lose ground over the week.

Misys (+9.0% to 252p), a provider of software to the world's largest financial institutions, reported a 20% decline in fiscal first half profit on lower profitability in its banking business.

During the second half the company will bring its retail and wholesale banking operations into a single business because its customers are centralising their back-office functions and demanding integrated solutions that provide both retail and wholesale capabilities.

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