The blue-chip index has limped back into the blue despite the weakness of oil stocks. Around three quarters of the market-value weighted index's constituents are higher but with heavy hitters BP, Shell and BG in the red the Footsie is struggling to make headway.
BP investors are concerned by the venomous attack on chief executive Tony Hayward by US president Barack Obama yesterday, while Norway's temporary ban on North Sea drilling has not helped the mood.
Sector peers Shell and Tullow Oil are also in the red, the latter despite having found oil at its Mahogany-5 appraisal well immediately to the southeast of the Jubilee field offshore Ghana, making it four out of five strikes in the region.
In economic news, the UK's goods trade deficit with the rest of the world widened in April as the volcanic ash cloud disrupted transportation of goods.
The deficit on trade in goods rose to £7.279bn from £7.259bn in March, with exports falling by 0.6% and imports by 0.4%, figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show.
Corporate infrastructure software specialist Autonomy is to buy US computing giant CA Technologies' information governance business.
Financial software provider Misys has soared away on its plan to return more than $1bn to shareholders after selling the majority of its stake in its Allscripts subsidiary. The sale of shares by Misys will enable Allscripts to proceed with its planned merger with US healthcare information technology firm Eclipsys.
Volatility in foreign exchange and equity markets and growth in all of its areas of business boosted spread better IG Group's fourth quarter and full year. For the year to May, IG expects to report revenue up 16% to approximately £298m (2009: £257m) and adjusted profit before tax up 25% to £157m (2009: £125.9m).
Online clothes retailer ASOS reported a whopping 44% increase in full year pre-tax profit while revenue surged 35% as UK and International online demand accelerated. "The widely predicted slowdown in consumer spending, specifically amongst the younger customer groups did not materialise and the Internet continued its strong growth as a retail channel," said chairman Lord Waheed Alli.
UK Commercial Property Trust and F&C Commercial Property, two of the UK's largest commercial property investment trusts, are merging to form the sixth largest UK listed property company.
It's just as well Monks Investment Trust focuses on growth stocks rather than income, as the company has halved its dividend to 3p. The company said that last year was an exceptional one for dividend pay-outs and this year it is seeing more caution on dividends. Net asset value per share rose by 42.8% in the year to 30 April 2010, comfortably beating the performance of the trust's benchmark index.
Western Coal has launched a recommended all-share offer for AIM-listed Energybuild, a miner of Welsh anthracite and coal, worth £54.4m. Energybuild shareholders will get 0.0833 Western shares for every Energybuild share they own, valuing them at about 24p each.
Shares in Freshwater took a dive even though the PR specialist said it is trading in line with market expectations as it enters the final quarter of its financial year.
Video search engine firm blinkx has launched four add-on modules for the popular Internet Explorer 8 web browser that will enable the browser's users to more easily access blinkx's library of video.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 980.00p +4.37%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,095.00p +2.62%
CSR, the chipmaking firm, has taken a hit after Numis downgraded the group to 'add', from 'buy', on the back of worrying news from its major customer Nokia this week, which cut its second-quarter outlook. [2 Jun '11]
The Monks Investment Trust, which focuses on international growth stocks and is managed by Edinburgh based fund management group Baillie Gifford, outperformed its benchmark index last year. [2 Jun '11]
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