Grey outlook for Orange


Mobile phone group Orange failed to stir the London market yesterday (Tuesday) with the long-awaited announcement of its opening share price.

Orange was to trade at 10 euros (640p) when it made its return to the London stock exchange at lunchtime.

But the figure, which is at the low end of the range predicted by analysts, did little to impact on the volatile telecoms sector, which had enjoyed strong gains on Monday.

By 9am, the FTSE-100 Index of blue-chip shares was holding steady, down 1.2 points at 6240.2.

Among the telecoms, BT was off 5p at 633p, Vodafone down a penny at 223p, and Colt Telecom up 15p at 15.40.

Technology stocks also remained firm after strong gains overnight in the US, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing ahead by more than 100 points.

Hi-tech risers included computer services group CMG, up 22p at 922p, telecoms equipment firm Spirent ahead 11p at 503p, and Cambridge software group Autonomy up 21p at 17.13.

The major fallers included sensors manufacturer First Technology, which issued a warning over profits.