John Dance

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In a week during which Greek debt worries dominated headlines, the FTSE 100 edged up through volatile trading to finish 5.05% higher. Including the 0.74% increase on Friday, the blue chip index enjoyed 6 successive days of gains to recover from its second lowest level of 2011. The Greek parliament’s passing of vital austerity measures may not provide a long term solution for the debt ridden nation, but it has managed to temper the markets in the shorter term.

Locally, Northumbria Water announced that it had received an indicative cash offer from the Hong Kong property firm Cheung Kong. The Durham based Utility provider has been the subject of takeover speculation in recent months, attention that has seen its shares gain over 40% since its year low in late January. Despite much of this news being priced into the stock, the shares were buoyed to finish up 1.54% on the day at 422p.

Another strong performer of late has been Greggs, its shares ended Friday’s trade at 547.5p, up over 6% for the week.

In commodity markets, corn saw its biggest decline for nearly 15 years on Thursday after the US Department of Agriculture reported that farmers had been planting substantially more grain. This year’s crop, reportedly the second largest for nearly 70 years, has been prompted by corn prices which hit a record high of $7.99 per bushel earlier in the year.

Yesterday’s decline was matched by other soft commodities and raised hopes that food price inflation will ease as reduced input costs feed through to lower retail prices later in the year.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by John Dance .

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