Shares in Invensys, the controls and automation group created by the merger of BTR and Siebe, were among the few FTSE issues to resist the wave of selling that marked the end of the stock market’s silly season this week.
A Monday night rout on Wall Street clipped 176 points off the Dow Jones Industrial index and hit British large-company shares hard when many of the London market’s big hitters returned to their desks on Tuesday.
By contrast, the FTSE-250 index, which includes the shares of many engineering companies, held its own relatively well.
Invensys owed its support to US investment bank Goldman Sachs, which put out a note raising its target price for the shares from 340p to 360p. Before the holiday, Invensys had fallen back to 314p, a price which Goldman Sachs calculated was 26% lower than its rival Honeywell and 20% cheaper than Emerson Electric.
GKN was a notable victim of the FTSE bloodbath, falling 23p to 956p in early dealings this week after a 44p loss the week before, and down from its recent peak of 1136p.
Rolls-Royce, which had managed to hold its own after half-time results before the holiday, also moved sharply downwards.
By contrast the defence company Cobham, whose shares had fallen victim to aggressive profit-taking before the holiday, was holding its own well in this week’s demoralised market.