The FTSE 100 opens 17 points lower at 7,369.17, weighed down by weakness among utility and mining stocks.
Media group Sky (SKY) is top riser on the FTSE 100 thanks to reports that two US companies want to buy 21st Century Fox’s interest in the business.
Reports suggest Comcast and Verizon are interested in the Sky stake and other assets including Fox’s movie and TV production studios.
The company wants to extend the test for its financial covenants to 30 April and is seeking the consent of its various lenders. Contract delays and lower than expected margin improvements in some of its UK work mean full year profit will be materially lower than current market expectations, it says.
Building services company T Clarke (CTO) gains 2.7% to 75.13p after stating that its year-end results in December will be in line with market forecasts. It is expecting underlying pre-tax profit of £6.5m and revenue in excess of £300m.
Another construction company Kier (KIE) is up 2.9% to £10.46 after revealing it is on course to deliver double digit growth in the current year. In a statement ahead of today’s AGM, the company says it is trading in line with its board expectations, with its property division delivering a return on capital employed of 20%.
Currency manager Record (REC) falls 1.9% to 46.50p despite reporting a 6% increase in pre-tax profit for its first half to 30 September. The company’s revenue also rose 14% to £12.2m on a year-on-year basis. The company’s interim dividend is up to 1.15p per share compared to 0.825p at the same time last year.
Iron ore mining company Ferrexpo (FXPO) ticks up 1.8% to 247.80p on news it has a new revolving credit facility of $195m involving six international banks. The facility will be used for general corporate purposes.
On the AIM market, oil and gas company Parkmead (PMG:AIM) gains 5.6% to 37.5p on release of its year-end results to 30 June. The company has moved to a £1.2m profit versus a £4.6m loss the year before. The company is debt free and has increased its oil and gas production substantially having completed seven acquisitions during the year.
Gold mining company Galantas (GAL:AIM) drops 2.6% to 4.75p as it posts a third quarter to 30 September loss of C$452,756, up from C$257,214 a year before. The net loss for the nine months has increased to C$1.6m, up from C$1.3m on a year-on-year basis.