FTSE 100 movers: Sky gains on Comcast report; Babcock goes ex-div
London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.3% to 7,329.93 in afternoon trade on Thursday.
Hammerson was clawing back some of its losses from Wednesday, when shares fell after it announced that it had agreed to buy rival Intu Properties in a £3.4bn all-share deal that will create a £21bn portfolio across Europe.
Sky gained following reports that Comcast Corp is interested in taking full control of the broadcaster and other assets of major shareholder 21st Century Fox, which is already in advanced sale talks with Disney.
Ashtead was up as Numis upgraded the stock to ‘buy’ from ‘add’ and lifted the price target to 2,500p from 2,000p, while educational publisher Pearson, which is currently down almost 10 per cent since the turn of the year, was lifted as JP Morgan Cazenove hiked its target price for the stock to 740p from 671p.
“A strong economic environment and a boost from hurricane clear-up activity provide the backdrop to Ashtead's Q2/H1 results. Management continues to execute a clear strategy and the business is supported by a strong balance sheet providing significant flexibility. Additionally, US tax cuts now appear closer to becoming a reality, providing a potential boost to earnings and economic stimulus.”
Going the other way, Babcock International was on the back foot as it went ex-dividend, while miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton retreated as copper and iron prices fell.
Costa and Premier Inn owner Whitbread slipped, giving back some gains made in the previous session when it emerged that US activist investor Sachem Capital had bought a stake in the group.
BT Group (BT.A) 263.35p 2.39%
Pearson (PSON) 737.50p 2.29%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 228.40p 1.60%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,649.00p 1.50%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 590.50p 1.46%
Hammerson (HMSO) 507.50p 1.20%
Sky (SKY) 999.00p 1.11%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,990.00p 0.96%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 625.00p 0.81%
DCC (DCC) 6,940.00p 0.80%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 656.50p -3.17%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,851.00p -2.22%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 358.80p -1.70%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,439.50p -1.69%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,872.00p -1.64%
BAE Systems (BA.) 552.50p -1.52%
GKN (GKN) 293.80p -1.51%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,933.00p -1.43%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,323.00p -1.05%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 4,975.50p -1.04%