The stock market boomed early this week, with leading shares smashing through record highs on Tuesday. The FTSE 100 index spiralled ever upwards amid growing optimism about the outlook for equities.
By midday on Tuesday the FTSE 100 had jumped 107.9 points to 6611.5, adding £21.2bn to the value of blue-chip companies. This was narrowly short of its high for the day of 6616.4.
GEC was the biggest riser in the lead index, up 51.5p to 660p, a day after its £2.8bn acquisition of US internet switching equipment maker Fore Systems.
The move looks set to lead to a reclassification for GEC – it will join the ranks of telecommunications companies which were once again behind much of the morning’s gains.
Elsewhere in the engineering sector, Spirax-Sarco was up 14p at 546.5p after chairman Tim Fortune told the company’s agm that he expects further progress in 1999. The statement came a day after the company bought back 200,000 of its shares at 532p.
TI Group, meanwhile, was one of a number of major gainers, up 20.75p at 490p, as was Vosper Thornycroft, up 82.5p at 1025p. Glynwed was up 9p at 216.5p, amid renewed enthusiasm for the stock after last week’s metal processing disposal.
But Staveley Industries was down 4p at 63p after a profit warning. The group warned that exceptional charges will push the business to a pre-tax loss of about £6m.