The FTSE 100 index climbed again on Tuesday after a week of steady gains, helped by positive sentiment in New York and a stream of positive corporate results.
A strong performance on Wall Street overnight helped boost shares. The leading index was up 49.2 points at 6461.2 by midday – further improvements hinge on the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee meeting.
The big story in the metals sector, British Steel’s merger with Hoogovens, saw the UK steel company’s shares fall on dividend fears. The falls continued on Tuesday, with the shares down 2.25p at 147.25p after Monday’s 11.5p fall from 150.25p.
Also in the metals sector, Apollo Metals was unchanged at 109p following last week’s results and news that it is to shift to the more highly rated aerospace sector.
Engineering shares proved mixed, meanwhile, with several broker upgrades helping some leading stocks but profit-taking accounting for losses elsewhere.
Invensys, the former BTR/Siebe combine, was down 11.5p at 293.25p after last week’s results. Analysts said this reflected profit-taking after a strong run.
IMI shares were one of the sector’s gainers, up 3.5p at 272p after upgraded recommendations from broker Albert E Sharp in the wake of its £337m acquisition of plastic pipes business Polypipe.
IMI shares have fallen 55p over the past few months.