British Airways Climbs Steeply as Goldman Sachs Says Get aboard; MARKET ROUND-UP

Article excerpt

Byline: Mickey Clark

STAND by for take off at British Airways was the advice Goldman Sachs gave to clients today as it added the shares to its influential Conviction Buy list.

The shares responded with a jump of 8.7p to 236.1p, making them one of the best performers among the top. They have come up from a low of 188p since July and, according to the American broking house, there is scope for a further 45% improvement in the price. Goldman says the recovery is under way and will be achieved by further cost savings and effective hedging against fuel price rises. Margins will also improve more rapidly than the other national carriers largely due to its exposure to the lucrative North Atlantic routes, the broker adds.

Goldman prefers BA to Air France KLM, which it has dropped from its Conviction Buy list. BA is currently in merger talks with Spain's Iberia and has been speaking to American Airlines about a possible alliance.

Investors generally were thanking their lucky stars for quantitative easing and the steady flow of money that has been finding its way back into the stock market as fund managers, who have sold corporate bonds to the Bank of England, use the money to look for better returns elsewhere. The FTSE 100 index continued to show the bears a clean pair of heels as it launched an assault on the 5200 with a rise of 43.50 at 5167.63.

Speculative buying pushed Tullow Oil up 51p to 1237p. The share price has come up from 1026p since the start of the month. Tullow yesterday announced an oil find off Sierra Leone. Today, it followed up that good news with yet another discovery, this time in Uganda. Together, the fines would make Tullow much more attractive to any would-be bidder. Earlier this week, Italy's ENI was being tipped to offer up to 2000p a share for Tullow.

Mining shares continued to drive the rest of the market higher on the back of firmer raw material prices amid hopes of a global economic recovery. Fresnillo put on 331/2p at 818p and Kazakhmys 41p at 11711/2p.

HSBC has raised its target on fashion retailer Next, up 7p at 1823p, from 2000p to 2100p in the wake of yesterday's better-than-expected first-half results. KBC Peel Hunt has raised its rating on Next from hold to buy. …