MARKETS:’ Top equity index moves forward as media shares rise ‘

#AceMarketsNews – LONDON (Reuters) July.31: Britain’s top equity index moved forward on Friday as a rise in the shares of media group ITV and energy company BG set the market up for a fourth straight day of gains.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index, which had risen in the last three sessions, was up by 0.1 percent at 6,675.04 points. The FTSE is up around 2 percent since the start of 2015 but some 6 percent below a record high of 7,122.74 points set in April.

ITV rose 1.6 percent, making it one of the best performing stocks, after European cable operator Liberty Global increased its stake in ITV to 9.9 percent, but said it still had no intention of taking over ITV.

BG also rose 0.8 percent. Even though BG’s core earnings nearly halved in the second quarter after a huge hit from persistently weak oil prices, its results still beat market expectations.

However, shares in InterContinental Hotels slipped back 3.5 percent, after having climbed 4.6 percent in the previous session, after the company said it was not in merger talks with Starwood Hotels.

Ryan Mitchell, senior investment manager at Logic Investments, said he was going ‘long’ by betting on the FTSE rising up to 6,900 points, although he cautioned that concerns over Chinese economic growth remained a risk.

“The FTSE looks well supported due to some good earnings that have come out lately. I’d be looking to buy any dip in the market,” he said.

Outside of the main FTSE 100 index, mid-cap stock JD Sports surged 8.3 percent after the company hiked profit forecasts.

(Editing by Tom Heneghan)

FTSE forges ahead as BG and ITV rise


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