MAR­KET RE­PORT

Western Mail - - BUSINESS -

EN­GI­NEER­ING gi­ant GKN dragged the Lon­don mar­ket higher yes­ter­day af­ter re­veal­ing plans to sell chunks of the busi­ness to help fight a takeover swoop from Mel­rose.

The FTSE 100 In­dex closed up 45.96 points at 7,213.97, with GKN ral­ly­ing higher on prom­ises to make a £2.5bn pay­out to in­vestors over the three years by of­fload­ing nonf­f­core op­er­aff tions.

The plan is the re­sult of a “wid­eff rang­ing and strate­gic” re­view of the busi­ness that was launched last month fol­low­ing a hos­tile bid by turnff around spe­cial­ist Mel­rose.

Shares in GKN lifted more than 3%, or 13.3p to 411.3p, help­ing to shift the top flight back into the black as volaff tile trad­ing con­di­tions con­tin­ued to dog global mar­kets.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age was marginally down and the S&P 500 lifted 0.4% in a mixed ses­sion for Amer­i­canf­flisted eq­ui­ties.

US in­dexes even­tu­ally calmed folff low­ing a bout of mar­ket jit­ters over Jan­uary’s in­fla­tion data, with con­sumff er prices across the At­lantic climb­ing at a faster 0.5% rate than econ­o­mists were ex­pect­ing.

Across Europe, France’s Cac 40 and Ger­many’s Dax both ral­lied higher, up 1.1% and 1.2% re­spec­tively.

On the cur­rency mar­kets, the pound was din­ing off the US dol­lar’s weakff ness, ris­ing 0.5% against the greenff back but stay­ing short of the 1.40 mark at 1.395.

Ver­sus the euro, ster­ling was 0.1% ahead at 1.12.

The price of oil en­joyed a resurff gence, ris­ing 0.6% to 62.93 a bar­rel on a small­erffthanf­f­ex­pected rise in US crude stocks.

Fo­cus­ing on UK stocks, Sky and BT had con­trast­ing for­tunes on the top tier af­ter the two me­dia gi­ants stumped up £4.5bn to claim broadff cast­ing rights to dozens of Premier League foot­ball matches. Sky was up nearly 2%, or 21p to 1,082p, as it won the race to be­come the main broadff caster of live Premier League foot­ball by seiz­ing four of the seven TV rights pack­ages for 2019ff22.

How­ever, BT closed down 0.3p to 225.6p af­ter se­cur­ing a smaller bun­dle of games.

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