FTSE breaks 6,000 barrier

18 March 2006
The FTSE 100 Index has broken the 6,000 barrier in a performance not matched since before the bursting of the dotcom bubble five years ago.

The Footsie hit 6,008.4 in the first minutes of trading today, which one analyst has compared to the "stock market boom in the late 1990s".

Glen Chambers, chief executive of trading website ADVFN also noted the market hadn't ultimately suffered from factors such as the insurgence in Iraq and the growing threat of a bird flu pandemic.

A number of companies were singled out for their contributions, including oil companies' BP and Royal Dutch Shell's willingness to return surplus cash to shareholders.

Vodafone sold its struggling Japanese division to Softbank for £8.9 billion, while P&O and Pilkington have both been taken over.

Investors were also cheered by the news that cosmetic company Body Shop agreed to be bought by France's L'Oreal.

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