MARKET REPORT: Broadcaster ITV will return to the FTSE 100

MARKET REPORT: Broadcaster ITV will return to the FTSE 100 later this month when a shake-up of Britain’s blue-chip index is carried out

Broadcaster ITV will return to the FTSE 100 later this month when a shake-up of Britain’s blue-chip index is carried out. 

Ahead of the latest reshuffle, it was seen as an outside contender for promotion. 

But its move upwards was confirmed last night by index manager FTSE Russell. It follows ITV’s strong shares performance in the past year and the demotion of engineering giant Renishaw. 

Royal Mail has also been promoted after insurer RSA was deleted from the index following its sale to Danish and Canadian buyers. 

The reshuffle will, separately see tech firms Moonpig, Trustpilot and Auction Technology Group added, to the FTSE 250 index of mid-sized companies, while Provident Financial is among those to drop out. The changes take effect from June 21. 

ITV’s stock rebound comes after the firm hit nine-year lows in April 2020. Since then, however, the share price has rallied by more than 130 per cent. 

The Love Island broadcaster, led by boss Dame Carolyn Fairburn, was originally hit by a drop in advertising spending during the pandemic, as well as delays to television production, but marketing spending has rebounded. 

Yesterday its shares struggled to stay above water though, dipping 0.5 per cent, or 0.65p, to 130.85p. Royal Mail rose 0.2 per cent, or 1.2p, to 595p. 

It came on a mixed day for the FTSE 100 overall. The top-flight index edged up 0.4 per cent, or 27.54 points, to 7108. The Footsie was lifted partly by oil giants, which were in favour thanks to the rising price of Brent crude. 

A decision by the Opec cartel means supply curbs will still be lifted slowly, prompting Brent to trade at close to $71 a barrel. And analysts at UBS bank predict they will reach $75. 

Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS, told clients: ‘We see energy firms as among the main beneficiaries of the broader global reflation trade.’ 

That was music to the ears of investors in London-listed oil majors BP and Shell. BP was up 2.2 per cent, or 7p, to 321.75p, while Shell rose 2.6 per cent, or 33.4p, to 1340.2p. 

The FTSE 250 was up 0.3 per cent or 58.3 points to 22,933.29, with shopping centres owner Hammerson and medical device maker Oxford Instruments among top risers.

Hammerson – up 4 per cent, or 1.59p, to 40.95p – was possibly boosted by an update from Boris Johnson saying there was ‘nothing in the data’ to suggest the UK could not push ahead with the final lifting of lockdown restrictions on June 21. Oxford Instruments climbed 2.8 per cent, or 60p, to 2170p. 

Elsewhere, builders merchant Brickability fell 4.8 per cent, or 5p, to 98.5p after announcing it was buying Taylor Maxwell Group for £63m. Taylor Maxwell specialises in supplying lumber and non flammable cladding to construction firms. 

Brickability said it would fund the cash-and-shares transaction through a placing, raising £55m from new and existing shareholders. It is paying with £40m in cash and £10m in shares. Another £13m will be linked to the future performance of the business. 

Leftover cash from the placing will fund more takeovers. 

Estate agent Belvoir was also on takeover manoeuvres. The firm remained flat at 246.5p after announcing the £600,000 purchase of loan advice company Nottingham Mortgage Services.

Under the deal, it will also enter a ten-year partnership with the company’s former owner, Nottingham Building Society. 

The society will use Belvoir for mortgage advice. Last year Belvoir also agreed to run its estate agency and letting services through the firm’s network. 

Dorian Gonsalves, the agent’s boss, said: ‘Together we can help people not only find their new home but also fund it with the right mortgage for them.’