The FTSE 100 hit the 7,000 mark today with BT in the spotlight on news that it is looking to sell its Sport division.
BT hired Lazard to help him sell the business and had talks with Dazn, the streaming group, Amazon, Walt Disney, and private equity firms about the sale or a potential investment in the company. division.
Such a move, first reported by the Daily Telegraph, has been overdue for some time under chief executive Philip Jansen, with analysts saying it is remarkable how little he talks about BT Sport.
The business was the brainchild of his predecessor Gavin Patterson and a sale would be welcomed by those who criticized the company for investing billions in football rights while customers suffered from poor broadband access.
Jansen has chosen to spend the money on the investment in fiber and 5G and is considering his options for the media branch. Shares jumped 2% as company confirmed talks
The FTSE 100 surged 47.87 points to 7,011.54, regaining territory above the 7,000 mark it gave up after falling sharply last Tuesday.
Strong figures from Unilever and Standard Chartered created a positive mood on a busy Thursday for company news.
StanChart rose to the top of the rankings, up more than 7% as its profits more than doubled in the first quarter to $ 1.4 billion. The London-based, Asia-based bank’s pre-tax profits far exceeded City’s expectations, as credit costs resulting from the pandemic were much lower than expected.
HSBC, also heavily dependent on Asia for its profits, rose 3% in the wake.
Unilever jumped 3% on strong earnings and € 3 billion share buyback plans
Markets were also boosted by hit earnings figures from Apple and Facebook, both of which exceeded analysts’ expectations and showed the public’s huge appetite for digital devices and social media was greater than ever. boosted by lock restrictions.
Apple’s March quarter figures were particularly extraordinary, with the group posting three-month revenue of $ 89.58 billion, up from $ 58.3 billion a year earlier after selling for nearly $ 48 billion iPhone. This was in part fueled by sales of the new iPhone 5G, which prompted millions to upgrade.
Sales in China were particularly strong because of the numbers compared to the quarter last year when the country was hit hardest by Covid.
Its services arm – seen as a major future growth sector – contributed nearly $ 17 billion.
Facebook, meanwhile, has shown where global advertising is heading. Its revenue of $ 26 billion for the quarter is up 48% thanks to a 12% increase in ads sold and a 30% increase in ad prices.
Asian stock markets have already rebounded today and US futures were trading higher suggesting a positive session tonight.
Comments from Federal Reserve Governor Jay Powell added to Silicon Valley optimism. After announcing no change in central bank policy actions, he stressed that unemployment remained a major problem in the United States.
The Fed has not talked about reducing its broad monetary support to the US economy.
Today, markets were awaiting quarterly US GDP data for the first three months of the year. The forecast is for 6.1% annualized growth. Anything less than that will make the Fed more cautious.