A call by the Confederation of British Industry for a half percentage point cut in interest rates helped keep shares on the London stock market buoyant on Tuesday.
The CBI’s call came after it reported the sharpest fall in manufacturing sector confidence since the last recession. By mid-morning, the FTSE-100 index was up 45.8 points at 5277.3, with the FTSE-250 index up 8.1 at 4681.9.
Engineers put in a mixed performance, British Aerospace rebounded on hopes of a weaker pound, gaining 19p to 410p, reversing an 18.5p fall on Monday.
Profit-taking saw Bodycote down at 12p at 832, while shares in Vosper Thornycroft climbed 33p to 700p. They had already gained 24p on Monday.
Richardsons Westgarth, the steel stockholder and processor, saw its shares fall 10.5p to 25.5p after a second profits warning. It blamed continued strong pressure on selling prices for the ‘further significant decline’ expected in the second half.
Manganese Bronze shares fell 20p to 228.5p, putting them just a penny off their lowest point for the year. Other engineers to fall included Vickers, down 6.6p at 171.5p, Cobham, 24p down at 753.5p and TI Group, 4p weaker at 365p.
Shares in LucasVarity put on 2.25p to 192.75p after a report claimed that a major shareholder in the group, Legal & General, had joined Schroder Investment Management to oppose its plans to seek a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.