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UK Equities
Advertising group WPP lights up FTSE 100
From the Financial Times of Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:31:07 GMT

Shares in WPP led a broad rally on the FTSE 100 on Friday after a broker upgrade brought some seasonal cheer to the world’s biggest advertising agency.

The stock rose 3.1 per cent to £13.42 — its best level in nine trading days — after Citigroup lifted its rating on the shares from “neutral” to “buy”.

“Valuation now stands at almost a five-year low versus the market. We continue to have concerns about the agency model, but think risk/reward for WPP looks positive,” Citi said.

Thomas Singlehurst, Citi analyst, said: “2014 has seen a lot of debate about the merit of WPP’s forays into automated media buying. While we see risks, principally relating to conflicts of interest, [in the] medium term, we also acknowledge that its fully owned assets/stakes could be extremely valuable.”

Financial stocks led the advance at sector level, as the prospect of a US rate rise moving further away towards the spring helped sentiment on global markets stay festive. Schroders, the asset manager, rose 1.6 per cent to £27.01 and led the sector. Hargreaves Lansdown was 1.5 per cent higher at £10.03.

Bargain hunters moved in for precious metals stocks after the impact of gold’s two-week retreat left the sector looking like good value. Randgold Resources rose 1.9 per cent to £43.24.

Airlines were higher after the previous session’s news of bid activity in the sector. IAG — the parent of British Airways and Iberia which has approached Ireland’s Aer Lingus about a merger — was 1.2 per cent higher at 469.2p. Aer Lingus rose another 0.7 per cent to €2.00.

Overall, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.6 per cent to 6,503.54 — a six-session high.

“While the Fed remains ‘patient’ regarding a rate rise it looks like the Santa rally will continue as we see out a turbulent week,” said Mike McCudden, head of derivatives at stockbroker Interactive Investor. “However, with more trouble brewing for the eurozone it may not be long before investors think again.”

This article is provided by, which is published and distributed by Paolo Cirio Ltd., registered in England, number 8188080. Registered Office: Suite 36, 88-90 Hatton Garden, City of London, EC1 N8PG, United Kingdom. Paolo Cirio Ltd. alone is responsible and liable for information and services provided through Daily Paywall’s newspaper and website.

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