Exchange shrugs off losses and moves up a gear


The London Stock Exchange was nudging into positive territory yesterday (Monday) as it shrugged off losses in the US on Friday.

After the first hour, the FTSE-100 Index of blue-chip stocks was ahead 5.3 points at 6093.6.

With the US Nasdaq reporting heavy falls on Friday, techs and telecoms were looking weaker on this side of the Atlantic in the first hour.

Telecoms were particularly feeling the pressure, with Vodafone down 3p at 201p, BT off 61/2p at 593p, Colt 20p lighter at 13.80 and Energis down 1p at 475p.

Among the techs, software firm Autonomy slipped 76p at 14.50, while computer services group CMG was down 18p at 887p.

Away from the new economy, railways operator Railtrack was down 19p at 928p - despite denying weekend press reports about its financial position.

With the new economy under pressure, investors were seeking refuge in old economy stocks, and a raft of energy firms and utilities were among those heading upwards.

BG was up p at 267p, Scottish & Southern Energy was ahead 13p at 624p and International Power was 1p stronger at 245p.

Drinks giant Diageo was up 11p at 703p ahead of results later this week and consumer goods firm Unilever lifted 3p at 537p on news it had sealed a deal to sell its New York-based Bestfoods Baking Company for 1.76 billion US dollars (1.22 billion).