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FTSE posts highest close since October
December 13, 2016 / 10:15 AM / a year ago

FTSE posts highest close since October

LONDON (Reuters) - The FTSE 100 on Tuesday posted its highest closing level since October, buoyed by gains for television and telecom stocks following an uptick of M&A activity in the sector.

People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain November 30, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

The blue chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE was up 1.1 percent at 6,968.57 points by the close, mirroring gains in the broader European market.

Gains were broad-based, with only the mining and materials sector in negative territory ahead of the results of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting on Wednesday.

The FTSE 100 posted its highest close since October, and recouped all of the previous session’s 0.9 percent loss.

Sky (SKYB.L) rose 1.7 percent to 988.5 pence following a dip in the previous session, but still traded below Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s (FOXA.O) 1,075p per share offer for the firm, which sent shares surging last Friday.

British public sector pension funds were the latest to cast scepticism on the deal, calling for an “appropriate” premium for shareholders and calling for regulatory scrutiny of any deal.

Shares in broadcaster ITV (ITV.L) rose 3.7 percent, with one trader saying the Fox bid for Sky made other M&A in the sector more likely.

“ITV is... higher on the back of speculation that it may become the subject of a bid in the wake of 21st Century Fox’s bid for Sky,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

BT (BT.L), which increasingly competes with Sky in internet provision and televised football, rose 3.7 percent.

Elsewhere in Europe, French media group Vivendi (VIV.PA) said it had raised its stake in Italy’s Mediaset (MS.MI), fuelling the prospects of a hostile takeover bid.

    Top FTSE 100 riser was engine-maker Rolls Royce (RR.L), up 4.2 percent and recovering from a fall on Monday following negative readacross from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the costs of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fight jet programme.

    Top fallers were miners. A drop in the price of copper hit shares in Antofagasta (ANTO.L), Rio Tinto (RIO.L), BHP Billiton (BLT.L) and Glencore (GLEN.L), which fell between 2 to 4.6 percent. [nL4N1E83AQ]

    Commodity prices tend to come under pressure when real interest rates rise as investors put capital into higher-yielding assets.

    “They’ve had quite a strong run, the miners, of late so if we see a strengthening dollar and a weakening commodity price in the face of a rate hike, that’s going to be slightly negative for the miners in the short-term,” said Jonathan Roy, advisory investment manager at Charles Hanover Investments.

    Among mid caps, digital payment provider Paysafe (PAYS.L) fell 17.6 percent after a blog post alleging that the company was enabling illegal gambling in China, which the firm denied.

    Cyber security firm NCC Group (NCCG.L) fell 10 percent after the firm cut its 2017 earnings forecast, with analysts at Jefferies pointing to project cancellations as impacting profitability.

    Editing by Gareth Jones

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