City news

The FTSE 100 Index took another stride away from the 6,000 barrier today after seeing Asian markets steady following North Korea's nuclear test.

The FTSE 100 Index took another stride away from the 6,000 barrier today after seeing Asian markets steady following North Korea's nuclear test.

With the Nikkei and the Hang Seng both in positive territory, the Footsie stood 15 points higher at 6045.9 in the first hour of trading.

A gain of 2% for Vodafone lay behind the improvement, as sentiment continued to improve towards the market heavyweight, which cheered 2.5p to 128.5p.

Among other major stocks, GlaxoSmithKline added 9p and British Gas owner Centrica lifted 4p.

On the downside, steel giant Corus lost some of its strength following several days of speculation over the prospect of a bid from India's Tata. Shares topped the Footsie fallers board with a drop of 15.75p to 478.25p.

Northern Foods led the list of second-tier fallers, as traders digested another lacklustre trading update from the company. The Leeds-based owner of Goodfella's Pizzas and Fox's Biscuits saw sales decline 1.1% in the six months to September 30. Shares fell 16p.

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