Thursday, 25 January: In slightly less important business news, but one that lends itself to a good pun for the title, Sky have made plans to make all of their channels and content available online, meaning customers can do away with the satellite dish. The increased availability of their offering of course hopes to boost revenues, and the company hope this will be available in the UK later this year or early next year. Italy will be first country to have a fully online service, so they can watch all the other teams at the World Cup this summer. After news earlier in the week that the Sky Fox deal wasn’t in favour with regulators, shares today Sky shares climbed 1.22%.
The FTSE today began lower as a strong pound dictated the index. Asian shares also were broadly lower as the European opening bells rang, the Nikkei closing 1.13% lower. After marginal losses the main index reversed into positive territory in the early afternoon, as Mario Draghi delivered the ECB rate decision, but these were again sharply reversed, before it closed 0.36% lower. The pound has breached the $1.43 mark today, but has give almost 0.5% back to the euro. Back to super Mario, he announced today that the euro’s upward trajectory is pleasing following better than expected growth. To no shock rates were kept the same. The US session has shared similar traits to the UK, with no willingness to commit to a direction, but as we write the Dow has surged to record highs and sits 0.6% higher. Oil sits above $70 p/bbl @ +1.3%.
Online fashion retailer ASOS reported strong growth in both domestic and international markets. They claimed to benefit from a stronger delivery service over the crucial Christmas period, going on to back their FY guidance. Shares did however react negatively to the initial news, before closing 3% higher.
The standout performer on the day was Kier Group, listed on the FTSE 250 (-0.08%), shares climbed over 15% on the day after a solid first half update. The construction services company possibly settling investor nerves in a dicey area at present.
Brewing giant Diageo commented that profits had been hit from adverse currency movements, but they expect to benefit from lowered US taxes. Pretax profit was 6.2% higher year on year, but shares closed 0.22% lower on the day.