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Stock watch.

The ftse 100 closed 4.5 points better at 4947.4 on Wednesday following an intraday high of 4953.6 and intraday low of 4937.4.

It was an unsettled day for investors with further weakness in the price of crude oil and an array of takeover talk providing positive momentum, while on the downside a selection of companies going ex-dividend pulled the FTSE lower.

Mining stocks returned to winning ways following upbeat broker sector comments, with Anglo American adding 7p to 1273p, Rio Tinto climbing 9p to 1698p, BHP Billiton rising 0.5p to 707.5p and Antofagasta gaining 36p to 1252p.

Coal mining firm UK Coal was another of the day's major movers, surging 10.75p to 137p on news that the company had received a takeover approach.

Of the ex-dividend stocks banking group Alliance & Leicester tumbled 24.5p to 872.5p, media stock Pearson dropped 20.5p to 635p and building firm Hanson slipped 13.5p to 485p.

Michelle Stansby

Associate Director ( Investment Manager Gerrard Ltd
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 7, 2005
Words:169
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