Shares in Daily Express and Daily Mirror owner Reach rose after it became the target of a possible takeover bid.
In a stock market update after trading closed on Thursday, newspaper mogul David Montgomery said he was considering a bid through his National World group.
Shares of Reach closed up 1.9 percent, or 2 pence, at 105.7 pence yesterday, while National World fell 2.4 percent, or 0.5 pence, to 20.5 pence. Montgomery, who turns 74 tomorrow, is a media veteran who ran the Mirror Group in the 1990s after the death of Robert Maxwell.
Offer: In a stock market update after trading closed on Thursday, newspaper magnate David Montgomery said he was considering an offer through his National World group.
A successful bid for Reach would put it back at the top of the Mirror titles, as well as a host of local newspapers. His interest in Reach comes after National World took over JPI Media, the UK’s third largest news publisher and owner of titles such as The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post, last year.
The broader stock market was buoyed by hopes that China will soon ease its tight Covid-19 restrictions, boosting luxury goods stocks across Europe.
Miners were also among the biggest beneficiaries as investors bet on renewed demand for raw materials from the world’s second-largest economy.
Anglo American rose 11.1%, or 295.5p, to 2,951.5p, Rio Tinto gained 7.6%, or 355p, to 5,030p, Antofagasta soared 6.8%, or 81p, to 1,262p and Glencore it rose 2.5%, or 13p, to 532p.
Other stocks with exposure to China also made gains, with insurer Prudential soaring 9 percent, or 75.2 pence, to 913.6 pence and banking giant HSBC 5.8 percent, or 26.85 pence, at 490 pence. The FTSE100 gained 2 percent, or 146.21 points, to 7,334.84 and the FTSE 250 rose 1.3 percent, or 231.96 points, to 18,341.57.
At the end of a week in which online furniture retailer Made.com went bankrupt, the city was in desperate need of some pre-Christmas cheer.
Cue DFS Furniture, which shrugged off the pessimism as it said sales grew again in September. The Doncaster-based company said that despite spiraling inflation and falling living standards, trade has been “resilient”.
Sales since the beginning of September have been above last year’s level and have also exceeded pre-pandemic figures, with “continuing evidence that it is grabbing market share from rivals”.
The bullish update sent shares up 6 percent, or 7.4 pence, to 131.8 pence, reversing a trend that has wiped £275m from the company this year.
AstraZeneca rose 0.6 percent, or 60 pence, to 10,742 pence after EU regulators approved the use of Beyfortus to protect babies from a seasonal respiratory virus.
Advertising giant WPP gained 1.2 percent, or 9.6 pence, at 800 pence after Morgan Stanley raised its price target from 700 pence to 730 pence. Earlier this week, boss Mark Read told the PR Week trade publication that his line of business was bigger than it was a year ago.
There was also good news for Morgan Advanced Materials, as the group, which makes ceramics and crucibles for metal foundries, saw sales rise 10 percent in the nine months to September.
The shares rose 15.8 percent, or 38.5 pence, to 281.5 pence.
Meanwhile, Darktrace rose 1.8 percent, or 6.1 pence, to 348.9 pence after Numis issued a “buy” rating and a price target of 520 pence. The Cambridge-based cybersecurity group also assured the market that it would settle a shareholder revolt over its pay policy.
At its annual general meeting on Thursday, it said 20.7 percent of the votes cast had opposed its pay report. He wrote to the three shareholders, tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch, his wife Angela Bacares and GO ETF Solutions, who rejected the resolution.
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