FTSE 100 soars on Vodafone deal hopes

Anticipated $130 million deal put worries about military action in Syria into the shade

A visitor passes through the main entrance of the London Stock Exchange headquarters. The FTSE 100 Index soared by more than 100 points today on the back of Vodafone’s anticipated $130 million mega-deal to sell its stake in Verizon Wireless. Photo: Bloomberg

A visitor passes through the main entrance of the London Stock Exchange headquarters. The FTSE 100 Index soared by more than 100 points today on the back of Vodafone’s anticipated $130 million mega-deal to sell its stake in Verizon Wireless. Photo: Bloomberg

Mon, Sep 2, 2013, 13:52

The FTSE 100 Index soared by more than 100 points today as Vodafone’s anticipated $130 million mega-deal to sell its stake in Verizon Wireless put fading worries about military action in Syria into the shade.

Blue-chip shares were also buoyed by healthy manufacturing data from China, alongside figures showing UK factory output increasing at a rate not seen for two decades.

The top-flight was up 109.3 points to 6522.2 as traders put a gloomy performance last week behind them and began September with a burst of bullish optimism on the trading floor.

Nervousness about an attack on Syria has been unsettling blue-chip shares but the rejection of action by Britain’s Parliament and hesitation on Washington’s Capitol Hill seems to have lifted the mood.

Data showing better fortunes for Chinese manufacturers added to the cheer, with the improvement in the world’s second biggest economy helping miners.

Rio Tinto was up close to 5 per cent at the top of the movers’ board as while Anglo American lifted 4 per cent.

Vodafone went from strength to strength on the back of its widely-anticipated US deal, building on an 8 per cent rise over the past week after confirming it was in “advanced discussions” about selling its stake in Verizon Wireless.

The deal looks likely to become the third biggest in corporate history and is so large that it should provide what is effectively a fresh dose of quantitative easing to the UK economy. Vodafone shares were up nearly 4 per cent.

Even rival BT got in on the act, following a ratings upgrade from Goldman Sachs amid increased confidence over the telecoms sector.

PA