LONDON -- Market makers here described the market as "very firm, with quite a few buyers on patrol." The
was up 71.3 to 6145.3 and the
index moved 117.18 higher to 3589.6.
The gains, of course, stem directly from Wall Street, which staged a further rally overnight.
The big news this morning was the French building materials group
increased 450p per share cash offer for the U.K.'s
. Blue Circle added 3p to 437 (US$6.95) before slipping back to stand unchanged at 434. Blue Circle has rejected the new bid, saying that Lafarge is trying to buy the company on the cheap. However, volume in Blue Circle was 184 million shares, suggesting that there are plenty of people out there willing to take the Lafarge cash.
, normally a strong performer around Easter, bucked the trend with a fall of 6p to 407.
The telecom sector continued its revival, with
rising 25p to
, having moved above the 300p level Tuesday, adding 6.5p more to 309.5.
Among media issues,
advanced 99p to
gained 59p to
10.67, with several brokers turning positive on the stock in the wake of Tuesday's encouraging first-quarter figures.
In the tech sector,
yet again took the lead, rising 496p to
BATM Advanced Communications
advanced 212p to
gained 230p to
Following its five-for-one share split,
gained 26p to 660, before settling 13p higher at 647. And recent newcomer
rose 75p to
advanced 62p to 867 after the company announced a strategic alliance with
of the U.S. to develop leading software tools and market Entegrity products through Dicom in Europe and Asia.
, a dull market Tuesday in the wake of its
acquisition, rallied 13p to 519, but Shell slipped 3p to 470.
Europe's other bourses were mixed but mostly higher in early trade Wednesday, with notables the
in Frankfurt down 9.40 to 7187.09 and the
in Paris 9.26 higher to 6156.70.
gained 56.20 euros to 677.20 (US$644.89) despite reporting declining first-quarter income. The company said it expected better sales in the upcoming quarters.
rose 2.15 euros to 148.10 and
was up 1.60 euros to 131.60.
climbed 0.19 euro to 39.55.
fell 1.60 euros to 71.00, erasing early gains after reporting solid first-quarter results. Other European telcos were mixed, with
down 0.60 euro to 167.00 and
up 0.47 euro to 24.54.
surged 2.19 euros to 44.50 amid renewed takeover speculation. This time Dutch bank
, which fell 0.04 euro to 22.79, was named as a potential predator.