Leading shares enjoyed their biggest weekly rise since July, putting the FTSE 100 within striking distance once again of its record high.
With the pounds 49bn cash and share payout from Vodafone starting to reach investors' pockets next week, analysts believe there could be more to come. Around 40% of the total will go to UK investors, and is likely to make its way into other major FTSE 100 companies.
Meanwhile the mobile phone group, which is distributing the payout following the $130bn sale of its stake in US joint venture Verizon Wireless, was one of the reasons for the market's recent strength, partly on renewed suggestions it could now become a bid target. It added 6.9p to 236.50p yesterday as UBS became the latest bank to issue a positive note on the business.
UBS raised its target price from 260p to 275p, saying: "New Vodafone trades from Monday 24th ex-Verizon Wireless. It starts near a sector multiple of 6.1 times, too low in our view.
"If the market does not realise this value, we wonder if a third party could."
US group AT&T recently ruled itself out of a bid, but under takeover rules this only bars it from making a move for six months, and then only if there is not another bid or the Vodafone board agrees to a deal.
Overall the FTSE 100 finished at 6838.06 yesterday, up 25.07 points on the day and almost 175 points on the week. That was its highest level since 22 May last year and less than 100 points short of its record close of 6930 on 30 December 1999, the height of the dotcom boom.
And technology was a main talking point during the week, with Facebook paying a startling $19bn for messaging service WhatsApp. In the UK that brought chip designers Arm, which added 23p to 970p, and Imagination Technologies, up 3.5p to 186p, back into the investor spotlight. Arm was also helped by an outperform rating from Credit Suisse.
A mixed bag of economic data during the week failed to hamper the market's rise, with weak Chinese growth numbers and disappointing US housing figures offset by a better-than-expected US manufacturing survey.
Yesterday UK retail sales disappointed, with a 1.5% fall in January, while a borrowing surplus of pounds 4.7bn was lower than expected. Even the chaos in Ukraine failed to stem the market's rise.
Elsewhere Royal Bank of Scotland added 4.4p to 360.1p ahead of next week's results and amid reports of further job cuts.
BAE Systems had a rocky week, moving higher on Wednesday as it resolved a long-standing payment dispute with Saudi Arabia over a Eurofighter jets order. A day later it disappointed the market by warning US defence cuts would hit its 2014 profits, knocking 8% off its shares. But yesterday it recovered 10.9p to 411.3p.
Morrisons suffered some profit taking yesterday, down 1.2p at 240.9p, after earlier moving higher on renewed talk of a possible buyout bid backed by private equity.
InterContinental Hotels fell 50p to pounds 19.25 as Credit Suisse moved from neutral to underperform after a trading update earlier in the week disappointed investors. Many had been hoping for news of a cash payout following the group's disposal programme, but there was no update.