FTSE 100 boosted by Vodafone acquisition rumours

<p>The FTSE 100 has been given a boost by speculation surrounding merger and acquisition deals.</p>

Shares on the FTSE 100 have climbed during stock market trading today amid speculation one of the UK's major mobile phone networks may be subject to an acquisition bid.

The blue chip index was one per cent higher on 6,475.95 points at 12:37 BST after rumours emerged that Vodafone may be a target for AT&T and Verizon Communications, Reuters reports.

Financial Times Alphaville revealed the two US firms may be tabling a breakup bid for Vodafone and are willing to pay around 260p per share – a 40 per cent increase on the firm's current share price.

The news helped Vodafone shares rise by 4.2 per cent and the index was also bolstered by news that Nasdaq is buying electronic treasuries trading platform eSpeed from BGC Partners.

BGC is a competitor of FTSE-listed ICAP and the move helped ICAP shares climb 7.1 per cent as traders moved to re-evaluate the company's value.

Senior investment manager for Duncan Lawrie Private Bank James Humphreys was quoted by the news agency as saying that while he does not believe there is a merger and acquisition premium in the market at present, it could be boosted if firms opt to use their strong balance sheets to purchase other companies.

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