ITV company Granada was riding high on the FTSE 100 Index yesterday as London's leading shares staged a partial recovery after Monday's gruelling session.

The index - which slid 107.7 points on Monday - recovered from early wobbles to close 30.3 points higher at 3971.6.

After fluctuating markedly in early trading, blue-chip shares climbed back into positive territory by mid-morning and held their ground during the afternoon as New York's Dow Jones hovered above its opening mark.

As trading on the London market closed, the Dow was ahead 11.6 points at 8505.

Granada led the way, bouncing back from Monday's falls with a nine per cent rise after seeing underlying profits surge 35 per cent to £65m. Shares put on 6p to close at 78p. Merger partner Carlton also benefited, closing high on the FTSE 250 risers board with a six per cent rise of 6p to 111p.

Other media stocks also made up ground after the sector bore much of the pressure in Monday's fall with Financial Times publisher Pearson edging up p at 520p, while BSkyB climbed 13p to 660p.

But Monday's biggest Footsie faller, Reuters, was unable to join in, losing another 1p to close at 159p.

There was also steady progress for tobacco group Gallaher as investors factored in cost-cutting plans. Shares climbed 11p to 592p, while rival Imperial Tobacco was also on the rise, up 33p at 1048p.

Meanwhile, high street favourite Marks and Spencer lost ground despite posting full-year profits ahead of expectations.

Pre-tax profits for the year to March 29 came in 11.5 per cent higher at £721.3m, boosted by encouraging clothing sales, but shares slipped 6p lower to close at 300p.

Financial stocks moved back on to positive ground with insurer Legal and General leading the way with a five per cent rise of 4p to 88p. Meanwhile, Friends Provident put on 2p at 106p and Norwich union owner Aviva added 9p at 436p.

HSBC gained 7p to finish the session at 701p, Barclays put on 7p at 424p and Abbey National climbed 11p to 475p.