Media stocks mixed in London

| August 2, 2006 | 0 Comments

Equities markets in London were up on Wednesday, with the FTSE 100 adding 0.9 percent to 5,932.1 and the FTSE 250 gaining 0.5 percent to 9,394.0. Volumes were still low, at 2.4 billion shares traded during the session.

Leading the leaders among blue-chips was ITV, which was up 4.6 percent to 101½p. The gains came amid rumors that the broadcaster’s chief executive will step down. ITV has been in focus recently over falling advertising revenues.

Cadbury Schweppes added 3.2 percent to 537½p even though it admitted that a recent incident that resulted in the contamination of some of its chocolate bars with salmonella will cost the company £20 million. The gain came on investor relief that the costs were only half the €40 million named in speculation.

Despite gains overall on the day, there were some significant declines in individual stocks. Corus dropped 3 percent to 415p on a warning from UBS that the industry as a whole is on the decline and a cut in the steel maker’s rating from “buy” to “neutral”.

A downgrade also hurt BSkyB. Citigroup downgraded the satellite broadcaster to “sell”, saying that new competition could have an impact on margins. BSkyB was 0.8 percent lower to 551p. In the banking sector, Lloyds TSB dropped 1.1 percent to 528p after Dresdner Kleinwort dropped its rating to “reduce”.

In the pharmaceuticals sector, GlaxoSmithKline fell 1.8 percent to £14.38 after going ex-dividend.

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