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FTSE boosted by rising oil prices and watchdog's approval of BT merger with EE

Published 28/10/2015

The FTSE 100 Index lifted 72.5 points to 6437.8
The FTSE 100 Index lifted 72.5 points to 6437.8

The London market was higher today lifted by rising oil prices and an announcement that the competition watchdog has provisionally approved BT's £12.5 billion merger with mobile phone firm EE.

Telecoms giant BT announced in February it had agreed to acquire EE with the deal expected to be completed next March.

The FTSE 100 Index lifted 72.5 points to 6437.8, also driven by commodity stocks buoyed by a 5% rise in Brent Crude prices.

Germany's DAX was up 1.4%, while France's Cac 40 is 1% higher. In New York the Dow Jones Industrial Index was up over 100 points in early trading.

The pound was up against the US dollar at 1.53, ahead of official data on Thursday expected to show lacklustre economic growth in the third quarter. Sterling was lower against the euro at just over 1.38.

BT was a strong riser in the top flight, up 16.7p to 468.7p, after the Competition and Markets Authority said that a BT/EE tie-up should "not translate into a competition problem in practice".

The telecoms giant will post its interim results on Wednesday.

Brent Crude lifted to 49 US dollars (£32) a barrel, following a fortnight of weaker prices.

The move sparked the rise of a range of commodity stocks with BP up 11p to 391p, Royal Dutch Shell lifted 21p to 1742.5p, while Randgold Resources climbed 170p to 4686p.

Lloyds was one of the biggest fallers, down more than 4%, or 3.4p to 74p, after said its quarterly profits slipped even though the group managed to book lower charges and costs.

The lender said third quarter underlying pre-tax profit fell 8% to £2 billion compared with a year ago, with analysts expecting the bank to post a profit of around £2.3 billion.

Shares in SABMiller lifted 29p to 3945p, after it said that Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev had requested a week's extension in order to agree their £68 billion mega-merger.

Belgium-based AB InBev said in an update it has completed the main phase of its due diligence, but needed more time for discussions to conclude what would be the largest takeover of a British firm in corporate history.

The UK Takeover Panel has extended the time allowed for AB InBev to make a formal offer for SABMiller to 5pm on November 4.

Elsewhere, newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror agreed to buy rival Local World for £220 million, making it the UK's largest regional news outlet with over 200 titles.

Trinity also owns the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, the Daily Record and the People as well as local titles such as the Western Mail and the Liverpool Echo.

Shares lifted more than 7%, or 11.8p to 172.3p.

The biggest risers in the FTSE 100 Index were Fresnillo up 34p at 768p, GlaxoSmithKline up 53p at 1420.5p, Randgold Resources up 170p at 4686p and BT up 16.7p at 468.7p.

The biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 Index were Meggitt down 94.4p at 367p, Lloyds Banking Group down 3.4p at 74p, Antofagasta down 8p at 536.5p and Rio Tinto down 17.5p at 2415p.

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