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FTSE in a rut; BT falls as Sky launches new football channel

FTSE in a rut; BT falls as Sky launches new football channel

The FTSE 100 remained stuck in the rut it’s been in since the end of May as the blue chip index gave up yesterday’s gains to trade 25 points, or 0.4% lower, at 6,850.

BT Group (BT) fell 2.4% to 396.3p after arch rival BSkyB (BSY) announced plans to launch a television channel for European football. BSkyB shares dipped 1% to 867.6p.

SABMiller (SAB) was the biggest FTSE 100 riser, up nearly 2% to £33.42 on reheated talk of a merger with rival drinks giant and Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch Inbev.

Tesco (TSCO) firmed a penny to 295p as investors gave a realistic appraisal to the supermarket bank's launch into the current account market.

The mid cap FTSE 250 sagged nine points to 16,208 as Lonmin (LMI) plunged 4.8% to 238.8p after South Africa’s mining minister pulled out of wage negotiations to ‘put pressure’ on platinum producers and unions to end a damaging five-month strike.

Oxford Instruments (OXIG) gained 3.3% to £13.89 after the technology tools maker eked out a small rise in full-year, pre-tax profits, despite the strong pound. The company said orders for the first two months of the current financial year were ahead of a year ago.

The FTSE Small Cap index dipped five points to 4,510. Helical Bar (HLCL) was the biggest faller, down 4.2% to 369.75, after the property developer sought to borrow £85 million with the launch of bonds that can convert to shares in five years.

Establishment Investment Trust (ET) fell 3p to 165.5p after the poorly performing global fund said its manager, BDT Invest, was being wound up. The trust is switching to Blackfriars Asset Management, an emerging markets specialist which BDT partners Henry Thornton, Simon Dobson and Stephen Simmons are joining.

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