LONDON -- Contrary to expectations that this morning's session on the London stock market would be dull as dishwater ahead of the Fed's decision on interest rates, it turned out to be just the opposite. The FTSE 100 was 72 points higher to 6319.4, following the lead in the U.S., and investors were up to their necks in company results together with a sprinkling of bids both real and rumored.
jumped 14p, but then retreated to show a gain of just 2p to 182 (US$2.77) on news that it plans to merge with
of Germany on an all-share basis to create the largest European online auction company. The merger outfit is expected to be called QXL ricardo. Ricardo surged 19.50 euros to 199.00.
regained some of the sharp losses seen Monday, rising 162p to
37.37, as the company reported that revenue in the first quarter rose 22% to
added 2p to stand at 968, as second-quarter profit rose 19% to
109.3 million, taking earnings for the half year to
160.6 million after an exceptional charge of
rose 16p to 310 despite reporting a
36-million fall in full-year pretax profit to
706 million before exceptional items and
514 million afterward.
shows little reaction to an 18% rise in half-year profit to
35 million and an increased dividend of 43p per share. The company confirmed its May 8 announcement that it is in talks with an unnamed suitor that may, or may not, lead to a formal offer for Perpetual.
Europe's other bourses were also modestly higher, although further gains are likely capped until the Fed makes its rate decision later this afternoon. The
in Frankfurt was up 117.88 to 7313.03 and the
in Paris was 101.49 higher to 6493.76. The Neuer Markt's
index was up 136.16 to 6983.16.
German blue-chip technology shares were able to bounce back after being oversold Monday.
was up 1.90 euros to 139.30 (US$126.91),
was up 2.50 euros to 156.55 and software maker
rose 6.28 euros to 603.75.
Financial shares were higher in Frankfurt, with
up 1.35 euros to 81.10,
0.11 euro higher to 41.75 and
up 0.68 euro to 44.25.
Rounding out the morning action, European telecoms also posted solid gains Tuesday.
was up 3.60 euros to 154.70,
was up 1.28 euros to 63.68 and
rose 0.64 euro to 24.26.