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Wed close: Vodafone merger talk ignites market

Vodafone, Barclays and RBS helped lift the Footsie above the 7,000 level for the first time in seven sessions, closing 12.16 points higher (+0.17%) at 7,007.26.

Shares in Vodafone, which fell 3.2% on Tuesday, advanced 5.4% after the chairman of Liberty Global, John Malone, said the two companies would make a “great fit”, reigniting long-running merger speculation.

Barclays and RBS rose in afternoon trade despite confirmation that they, along with JPMorgan, Citigroup and UBS, have been fined a combined $5.6bn for their alleged manipulation of FX markets.

Marks & Spencer experienced a volatile day, swinging between gains and losses for most of the session finally closing lower following annual results which received a mixed reception.

Utility SSE disappointed with a warning that the dividend cover would fall due to the pressure of “significant uncertainties” on earnings.


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