Shares in London slumped early this week but were showing more modest falls on Tuesday after the release of inflation figures showing the Government’s 2.5% target was met in April. By midday the FTSE-100 stood down just 18.2 at 6147.6. The mid 250, meanwhile, was up 10.3 at 5711.5.
Leading the engineering gainers was Vosper Thornycroft after it released above-forecast full-year profits and said it was in talks with Marconi to participate in the £7bn destroyers programme for the Royal Navy. The move is expected to safeguard 1,000 shipyard jobs, and sent Vosper shares 22p higher to 992p. Marconi parent GEC was up 13p at 608.5p.
Morgan Crucible was another gainer, 10.5p up at 322p after bid rumours.
Alstom was unchanged at 1750p, despite a e203m (£134m) contract to supply 28 sets of trains to the Shanghai Mass Transit Pearl Line development company.
Senior Engineering was unchanged at 154p, despite the £31m sale on Monday of its precision tube businesses to Tyco Flow Control. Broker Albert E Sharp cut its forecasts after the disposal but retained its `buy’ stance on the shares.
Shares in processing and packaging machinery maker GEl International edged up 1.5p to 21.5p on Tuesday after tumbling 50% from 38p on Monday after a shock profits warning. The company said that accounting irregularities had caused a £3m `black hole’ at a subsidiary.