City watch

Engineering stocks had one of their best weeks of the year so far last week, closing up 5.2% at 2935.59. BTR and Rolls-Royce led the way, the former having climbed 17.7% to 190p and the latter up 15.2% at 267.75p. Both were spurred on by positive comment in the wake of their results. Sentiment in […]

Engineering stocks had one of their best weeks of the year so far last week, closing up 5.2% at 2935.59. BTR and Rolls-Royce led the way, the former having climbed 17.7% to 190p and the latter up 15.2% at 267.75p. Both were spurred on by positive comment in the wake of their results.

Sentiment in the sector this week has been upbeat, despite official statistics pointing to imminent recession in manufacturing.

Results kicked off with IMI unveiling pre-tax profits of £148.9m after a £20m hit from sterling. This was almost equalled by a £219m gain from acquisitions made last year. The shares rose 9p to 458.5p, near their high of 461p, after the company predicted only a £3m sterling hit this year.

Manganese Bronze shares dropped 6.5p to 406p on Monday after the company said the launch of its new TXI London taxi had cost it £2.5m. Shares in the company, which has metal powder and components businesses as well as its taxi building operation, have yet to recover from October’s profits warning when they were trading at more than 550p.

The FTSE 250 and FTSE SmallCap indexes, where engineering stocks are disproportionately represented, continued to power ahead. Among larger stocks, GKN put on 39p to 1584p in anticipation of results out today. Other gainers included Lucas Varity, up 4.5p to 243.5p, and Hall Engineering, up 22.5p to 201p.