MARKET WATCH

Steam products and systems specialist Spirax-Sarco again delivered the goods – profits up for the 29th year on the trot and with a gain this time of 9% to £47.1m. The City marked up the shares several pence in acknowledgement. Spirax has extensive overseas business, so second-half trading was shadowed by the strong pound. While […]

Steam products and systems specialist Spirax-Sarco again delivered the goods – profits up for the 29th year on the trot and with a gain this time of 9% to £47.1m. The City marked up the shares several pence in acknowledgement.

Spirax has extensive overseas business, so second-half trading was shadowed by the strong pound. While that continues, brokers are taking a cautious view.

British Steel edged ahead on sizeable daily turnover, and is trading some 20p above its recent 140p low. Hopeful noises about European steel prices from Continental producers like Usinor seem to outweigh concern about the strong pound.

After its excellent figures, British Aerospace sets new highs day by day. Broker Albert E Sharp reckons the shares are worth 1488p (against a market 1355p).

Several other stocks, including IMI and Rolls-Royce, also powered ahead on good results, but Fairey’s were marked down.

GKN staged a 50p recovery on word that settlement in the US Meineke franchises affair might cost it much less than expected.

Elsewhere in engineering vehicles, overseas firms were the star performers with Daimler-Benz, Honda, and VW all hitting new 12-month highs.

A major market casualty of the week was A Cohen, the non-ferrous ingots maker, which plunged 80p to 400p on its warning of a £1.7m loss in the half-year to December.

Textiles machinery maker Mackie plunged 52p on news that talks with a would-be bidder had collapsed, though the price partly recovered later.