The FTSE 100 opens slightly lower at 7,743.61 after the rally in US stocks appeared to lose steam overnight. Despite breaking through the 26,000 barrier in early trading the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed more than 10 points lower amid falling commodity prices.

Specialist publisher and events business Informa (INF) is set to combine with rival UBM (UBM) in a £9bn deal. The latter, a constituent of our Great Ideas portfolio, is up 14.9% to 903.5p with shareholders set to receive 1.083 Informa shares and 163p in cash for each of their shares.

The merged entity, which will be 65.5% owned by Informa shareholders, is expected to be the world's largest business-to-business events company in an industry where scale can be a significant advantage. Informa shares slip 5.1% to 709.6p.

Also in the media sector, academic publisher Pearson (PSON) falls 5.3% to 680.2p as investors ignore guidance for 2017 profit to be at the upper end of forecasts at around £600m (at guidance exchange rates) and focus on a continuing decline in US educational sales.

Luxury fashion firm Burberry (BRBY) slips 4.5% to £17.05 as retail revenue disappointed in the final three months of 2017, up 2% year-on-year against analysts forecasts for 4% growth. Tempering the bad news, full year guidance for the year to 31 March is left unchanged.

Support services business Interserve (IRV) dives 15.4% to 102.4p on reports it is being watched by the Government over financial health fears in the wake of Carillion's (CLLN) collapse.

Cinema operator Cineworld (CINE) sinks 6.6% to 526.5p as it confirms details of the £1.7bn rights issue being used to finance its acquisition of US chain Regal. The release is accompanied by a robust trading update.


Issue Date: 17 Jan 2018