There are sales in January, but London's institutional investors appear to prefer quality goods in February.
Whether these investors are actually getting value for money remains to be seen, because Thursday's almost-certain interest rate rise by the
Bank of England
may see the quality stock being offered at January sales prices. The short arms and deep pockets syndrome may well click in, leaving well stocked shelves as prices approach their sell by date.
The buyers are as yet undeterred, and the
on Tuesday closed up 167.20 points, or 2.7%, at 6285.80.
There is plenty of mileage yet in the banking sector, with institutions placing the bets on who, if anyone, will succeed in taking
up the aisle.
Bank of Scotland
looks to become the favorite and turned an earlier loss into a gain of 19 ¿, or 3.8%, to 613. The potentially rejected suitor,
Royal Bank of Scotland
, jumped 61p, or 6.2%, to 10.53 pounds. NatWest, the blushing bride, managed a gain of 52p, or 4.8%, to 11.44 pounds
, which will get a 14% weighting in the FTSE after merging with
, finally benefited from the institutional shift and tracker fund requirements with a gain of 20 3/4p, or 6.2%, to 355 1/4.
continues to give investors heart attacks, turning a 100p loss soon after its earnings figures into a rise of 232p, or 23.0%, to 12.39 pounds. This set the media sector alight.
climbed 174p, or 7.8%, to 23.53 pounds and
motored up 143 1/2, or 9.8%, to 16.10 1/2 pounds.
Many of the continental stock indices pushed to all-time highs, as technology and telecommunication sectors surged. The
in Frankfurt closed up 253.56, or 3.5%, to 7549.88 and the
in Paris finished 94.08 higher, or 1.52%, at 6297.66.
In Frankfurt, the technology-telecom combination not only made the Dax soar, but also sent the tech-stuffed
Neuer Markt's Nemax50
index into record territory. Electronics giant
lead the way for the Dax, finishing the session up 8 euros, or 4.9%, at 171 and 7.60 euros, or 9.43%, to 88.20 respectively.
Even software maker
and Mannesmann were able to turn early losses around to finish the day with solid gains. SAP closed 41.79 euros higher, or 5%, to 870.10 and Mannesmann closed up 14, or 4.4%, at 329.50.
In Paris the picture was similar, with CAC heavyweight
surging 7.90 euros, or 5.2%, to 160 and oil company
climbing 7.60 euros, or 5.6%, to 142.80.