Vodafone's long-awaited confirmation that it is in talks over the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless sent shares in the mobile phone giant soaring today.
It is thought that partner Verizon Communications wants to pay around 100 billion US dollars (£64.4 billion) for the 45% stake, although reports have said that Vodafone is pressing for as much as 130 billion US dollars (£83.8 billion).
Shares jumped 9%, or 17.65p to 206.9p, as the FTSE 100 Index company is likely to set aside a large chunk of the US sale proceeds on share buy backs, as well as a war chest for acquisitions.
Vodafone's ascent diverted attention away from worries over the situation in the Middle East, as the FTSE 100 Index climbed 40.8 points to 6470.8.
Other risers included advertising and marketing giant WPP after it raised its full-year sales target on the back of improving demand in the UK and United States.
Accompanied by a sharp rise in half-year profits, the improved outlook meant shares in the company jumped by 3% or 41.5p to 1219.5p.
The fallers board was topped by outsourcing services firm Serco after it emeged last night that the Government had uncovered potentially fraudulent behaviour in the management of its £285 million prison escorting contract.
The development overshadowed an 11% rise in half-year profits to £127.1 million.