City Watch

Shares in London were given a leg up this week by growing speculation on an imminent cut in base rates. Statistics revealing another sharp drop in manufacturing output last month convinced many that rates could come down by as much as half a percentage point this week. On Monday the FTSE-100 index finished up 87.1 […]

Shares in London were given a leg up this week by growing speculation on an imminent cut in base rates. Statistics revealing another sharp drop in manufacturing output last month convinced many that rates could come down by as much as half a percentage point this week.

On Monday the FTSE-100 index finished up 87.1 at 5525.5,a gain of almost 5% over the previous three days. The FTSE-250 was also up, 76.4 points ahead at 4887.8, and the SmallCap index powered ahead to produce its 15th consecutive daily gain at 2035.

British Aerospace continued to build on last week’s gains, following positive notes from Charterhouse Tilney and SG Securities.

Bodycote soared 87.5p to 950p, following two recent acquisitions and improved sentiment in its prospects.

Vosper Thornycroft gained 8.5p to 686p, after the company snapped up a Southampton boatbuilder.

Smiths Industries dropped 5.5p to 803.5p on Tuesday, following a 6p gain on Monday. The company announced a small bolt-on acquisition in its medical systems business on Tuesday. Smiths is buying Stewart Hughes for £8.3m.

Delta sold a commodity fasteners business in Australia as part of its restructuring programme. Its shares were down 5.5p in early trading at 129p.

Mayflower shares gained 9p at 146p, reflecting enthusiasm for its acquisition of Dennis Group.