Engineering shares were about the only gainers early this week as the stock market dived to its lowest point since June last year. After months of steady falls the sector showed a partial revival, aided by speculation that the Bank of England is set to cut interest rates this week.
Leading the way was GEC, up 17.5p to 417.5p, British Aerospace, up 20p to 332p and British Steel, 5p higher at 110p. By mid-morning on Tuesday, the FTSE-250 index, which features many engineering stocks, was up 29.6 at 4334.
Smiths Industries, another gainer, rose 18p to 642p.
The gains followed a week of massive losses on markets around the world. The FTSE-100 index crashed well below 5000 and on Tuesday was only at 4759.5 despite a 110.8 point gain on Monday’s close.
McKechnie, which gained 18p to 266p on Monday, climbed another 35.5p on Tuesday to 301.5p, after reporting record profits and claiming it had cut its exposure to economic troublespots including Asia, Russia and South America.
Glynwed International, meanwhile, rose 16.5p to 171p after it unveiled a major expansion of its pipe systems division. It is buying German company Friatec in a £174m deal.
Other engineers benefited speculation about interest rates, with FKI rising 9p to 111.5p, Charter up 21p at 297.5p and IMI 13.5p firmer at 255.5p.
Morgan Crucible rose 15p to 278.5p.