Rock leads headline risers with 4%

Having spent most of the week's last trading session in the red, the UK stock market pushed back into positive territory and the FTSE 100 Index finished36.6 points up at 6607.9.

Having spent most of the week's last trading session in the red, the UK stock market pushed back into positive territory and the FTSE 100 Index finished36.6 points up at 6607.9.

After losing value earlier in the week, Northern Rock led the headline Index's risers, adding 4.7% to close at 868p.

In addition to the banking sector, mining companies performed well but property was the weakest sector on fears of a rise in interest rates next week.

In The Journal 40, D1 Oils was in focus as the company agreed to enter into a 50/50 joint venture with oil giant BP to invest $160m over the next five years to accelerate the planting of jatropha curcas trees. Jatropha curcas produces an inedible seed that is used as a feedstock for biodiesel and the trees do not compete with food crops as they are grown in low quality soils.

The joint venture, D1-BP Fuel Crops Limited, will have access to D1's jatropha plantations in India, Southern Africa and South East Asia. Elliott Mannis, group CEO, stated that "this is a transforming event for D1.

"BP's decision to join us in this new venture is a significant endorsement of our strategy to develop jatropha as a global raw material for the production of sustainable biodiesel." D1 Oil's shares rose by 7.7% and closed at 259.5p.

Elsewhere, Vertu Motors, for whom we act as broker, announced the purchase of Grantham Motor Company Limited for £4.6m in cash.

The acquisition adds four Honda car dealerships and a motorcycle dealership to the company's presence in the East Midlands. The deal also represents the introduction of the Honda franchise to Vertu's product offering. The shares were unchanged on the day and closed at 71.5p.

Fergus Westwood Assistant Director Wise Speke

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