LONDON -- Banks, oils and market newcomer
may not flow easily off the tongue, but they're most definitely on investors' minds this morning. The
traded within narrow limits and was recently 24.7 points higher to 6490.9.
Looking at banks first,
stand out as both have reduced exposure to the U.K. domestic banking market, which analysts think may be heading for a price war. The two companies made further good progress with sentiment again boosted by Monday's
upgrade of both stocks. Standard gained 12p more to 900 ($13.62) and HSBC gained 20p up to 787. No such luck for big U.K. mortgage lenders such as
, which slipped 7p to 576, and
, which fell a few pence more to
attracted support ahead of an annual strategy presentation to analysts and rose 7p to 622. In a statement this morning, the company said it's aiming for double-digit earnings growth over the next three years.
edged forward 4p to 571.5.
Granada Media, in which conditional trading started at 8 a.m. GT, recently stood at 544p -- in line with market estimates -- compared to the offer price of 515p. Turnover so far has been 55 million shares.
move on U.S. mobile phone company
shook market speculators out of
Cable & Wireless
shares this morning. (For more on the
story, check out coverage from
The New York Times
joint newsroom.) C&W was down 33p to
12.15 now that it seems less likely that DT will make a play for the telecom group.
was steady at 920p as regulators proposed to bring local loop unbundling conditions into force. These will require BT to allow operators to place digital subscriber line technology equipment in the local exchange to upgrade the local loop. Dealers had been expecting this news and said it was factored into the BT share price.
continued its recent roller coaster ride and was trading 6p lower at 308.
slipped 4p to 385 as the market awaited news from the annual general meeting. Chairman Lord Marshall will today tell shareholders that the
2 million payment to ousted chairman Bob Ayling is required by law. This is not likely to be taken well, but shareholders should also hear how the proposed merger with
Among the techs,
was hurtling along at a record high of
47.95, up 135p with buying sentiment boosted by the news of the Canadian fiber-optics group
$41 billion takeover of U.S. company
Most of Europe's other major stock markets were lower early Tuesday, with the
in Frankfurt down 41.34 to 7029.48 and the
in Paris down a mere 15.41 to 6472.01. The
index was down 182.6 to 5924.9.
Deutsche Telekom was weighing on the Dax amid the reports it is considering a $30 billion bid for VoiceStream Wireless. Midday, DT was down 2.00 euros to 59.35 ($56.69).
, which is also thought to have an interest in VoiceStream, was off 3.00 euros to 148.00.
Elsewhere in the telco world,
was down 0.08 euro to 24.37 and
was up 0.65 euro to 75.05.
Blue-chip German technology shares were mixed, with software maker
down 0.20 euro to 198.20,
1.08 euros lower to 108.12 and
up 1.60 euros to 167.60.