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UK shares supported by oil, telecoms as market awaits trade move

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UK shares supported by oil, telecoms as market awaits trade move
FILE PHOTO: City workers make phone calls outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square in the City of London, Britain, October 1, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo   -   Copyright  Toby Melville(Reuters)
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By Danilo Masoni

MILAN (Reuters) – UK shares were higher on Monday as gains among oil and telecoms stocks provided support, although fresh trade tensions dragged down mining companies.

The FTSE 100 index was up 0.1 percent at 7,312.46 points by 0815 GMT. Mid caps <.FTMC> were up 0.05 percent. Both had started the session in the red.

Trade was the chief focus after Reuters reported U.S. President Donald Trump was likely to announce new tariffs on about $200 billion of Chinese imports on Monday. That hit metal prices, which in turn weighed on the materials sectors.

Shares in big mining companies such as Glencore <GLEN.L>, Anglo American <AAL.L> were down 0.5 percent. BHP <BLT.L> edged up 0.1 percent.

ITV <ITV.L> fell 2.2 percent with traders citing a report in the Sunday Times that the commercial broadcaster had entered the bidding for Endemol Shine, the production firm behind programmes such as Big Brother and MasterChef.

“A rights issue might be necessary for ITV to enter the fray for this asset, and financial synergies aren’t immediately clear at this juncture,” said analyst Neil Wilson.

Utilities were led higher by SSE <SSE.L>, whose shares fell over 10 percent last week after a profit warning. Telecom company BT <BT.L> added 1.3 percent after a price target upgrade .

Vodafone <VOD.L> gained 0.7 percent on a FT report saying its incoming chief executive was considering a sale of mobile masts assets to reduce the company’s 31 billion pounds debt pile.

Oil companies also rose, providing the biggest boost to the FTSE. BP <BP.L> gained 0.3 percent and Shell <RDSa.AS> 0.6 percent crude prices rose.

Housebuilders, a sector hit by a slowing economy and worries over Brexit, were broadly higher. Traders cited encouraging Rightmove house price data.

“The index showed a return to growth in house prices in September, amid signs of recovery in London and a pickup in sales of the capital’s most expensive properties,” said Jasper Lawler, an analyst at LCG.  

Shares in Barratt <BDEV.L>, Berkeley <BKGH.L> and Taylor Wimpey <TW.L> rose around 0.5 percent.

Among mid-caps, Sirius Minerals <SXX.L> rose 4.5 percent after the fertiliser maker reached a supply deal with Brazilian distributor Cibra.

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni, editing by Larry King)

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