Florida tobacco ruling lifts BAT, Imperial
LONDON - Tobacco stocks reacted positively on Monday to a ruling by a Florida court last Friday that damage claims brought by ailing smokers against tobacco firms must be tried individually rather than as a group, analysts said
British American Tobacco Plc gained 13 pence, or 2.5 percent, to 536p amid volume of more than 622,000 shares by 0910 GMT, while its sector peer Imperial Tobacco Group Plc (UK & Ireland: IMT.L) added 16p or 2.2 percent to 730p.
The ruling by Florida's District Court of Appeals in Miami effectively removed the spectre of a lump-sum punitive damage award in the Engle class-action suit, which some analysts had estimated could be as high as $500 billion.
In America Philip Morris (NYSE:MO) lit up in celebration, closing $2-1/4 or roughly six percent higher at $39-1/8.