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.