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City news.

The ftse 100 Index got the week off to a good start today after a rally on Wall Street on Friday night.

The Footsie climbed 9.4 points in the first hour of trading.

Analysts were expecting the UK blue chip index to open ahead after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed more than nine points to the good.

An upbeat after-hours performance by a number of US blue chips, including General Motors and chip maker Intel, boosted the positive performance in New York.

Back in London, insurers and oil stocks were making the running amid a relative lack of major corporate news.

BP and Shell were 1.5p and 2p ahead at 574.5p and 493p respectively as the price of a barrel of US light crude for delivery next month declined slightly in early trading, but remained above the 53 US dollars level.

Among insurers benefiting were Royal & Sun Alliance, at the top of the Footsie risers with a 3.75p lift, and Legal & General who were 1.25p ahead.

On the corporate news front, shares in Majestic Wine fizzed 4pc or 11p to 258.5p after it unveiled a 24pc hike in annual profits.

Nightclub operator Luminar was also up 3.5p at 546.5p after announcing the sale of the majority of its unbranded nightclubs to a management buyout team.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 13, 2005
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