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EnQuest and Aberdeen Asset Management rise, Premier Oil falls

EnQuest and Aberdeen Asset Management rise, Premier Oil falls
The London market made small gains today as traders waited for the details of a eurozone rescue plan expected to be hammered out at a crunch meeting of politicians.

The London market made small gains today as traders waited for the details of a eurozone rescue plan expected to be hammered out at a crunch meeting of politicians.

A late rally saw the FTSE 100 Index close up 27.7 points at 5,553.2, having previously been in negative territory amid fears EU leaders would fail to overcome their differences.

Banking stocks were sold off amid the uncertainty, with Lloyds Banking Group down 2%, or 0.7p at 34.3p, Royal Bank of Scotland off 0.3p at 24.8p, and Barclays 1.4p lower at 178.6p.

The market reacted calmly to weak manufacturing data for October from the CBI, which revealed the biggest drop in confidence for more than two years.

Pharmaceutical and households giant Reckitt Benckiser continued to fall after Tuesday’s disappointing third-quarter results. Shares were 70p off at £32.60.

Heavily-weighted mining stocks offered the market some support, with silver giant Fresnillo up 70p at £16.54.

British American Tobacco was up more than 1%, or 43.5p at £28.96, after it said the number of smokers cutting back in the economic downturn was moderating.

Outside the top flight, Stobart Group saw shares fall nearly 6% after it reported a tough six months for its core transport and haulage business, which includes Eddie Stobart trucks. Shares were down 7.1p at 118.8p.

The biggest Footsie risers included Imperial Tobacco ahead 71p at £22.80, Shire up 53p at £20.05, and Randgold Resources ahead 170p at £68.80.

The biggest Footsie fallers included Smiths Group down 42.5p at 928.5p and Land Securities off 18p at 650p.

Barry Shepherd, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted that the risers included Aberdeen Asset Management up 1.5% to 188.25p, EnQuest which added 1.34% to 105.9p and Standard Life which rose 1.26% to 216.5p.

Among the laggards Premier Oil lost 1.75% to 370.8p.

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