FTSE higher after Wood Group deal

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The FTSE 100 climbed 18.2 points to 6081.3 in early trading

A major deal for UK oil and gas services firm Wood Group sparked gains for engineering companies across the London market.

FTSE-250 firm Wood Group sold its well support arm, which makes electric submersible pumps used to maximise oil production, to General Electric (GE) for 2.8 billion US dollars (£1.75 billion).

The FTSE 100 Index edged ahead 18.2 points to 6081.3, led by gains of more than 4% by engineering firms Weir Group and Invensys, which were up 81p at 1776p and 15p at 356p respectively.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen-based Wood surged nearly 12% in the second-tier, up 68p at 640.5p, after announcing its deal with GE, which will see at least £1 billion of the proceeds go to shareholders.

The positive start followed a strong session in Asia, as the resignation of Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak eased worries over political instability in the Middle East. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.8%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 1.1% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.8%.

With little in the way of corporate results in the UK, the market is likely to look ahead to economic data released later this week, including inflation figures from the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday and the Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Rolls-Royce edged ahead 0.5p to 658p in the FTSE 100 after the engines giant unveiled a long-term services deal with airline Emirates worth 2.2 billion US dollars (£1.4 billion).

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