Market Report: FTSE above 7k again and its game on for BT as talks open to sell TV sports unit

The Market Report with Katie Pilbeam. FTSE 100 crossed the 7,000-mark again after positive company news pushed its blue-chip constituents higher. London’s leading index jumped 45 points to 7,008 in early trading.  

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSB) confirmed better oil prices had sparked a recovery in its first quarter. Net income was US$5.7bn compared to a US$4bn loss in the prior three months.  

NatWest Group PLC’s (LON:NWG) profits also rebounded in its first quarter as costs fell and it clawed back previous bad debt provisions. As seen in results from its peers published this week, banks are benefitting from an improving UK economic outlook.  

There could be another  knock-on from football’s European Super League flop as BT (LON:BT.A) confirmed it is in early stage talks with potential investors in its sports broadcasting business. Overnight press reports suggested negotiations were taking place that could lead to a sale of the unit.

City Pub Group PLC (LON:CPC) has acquired a 49% stake  in the owner of the iconic Kensington Park Hotel in London’s Ladbroke Grove where Tom Jones and Paul Weller are said to like a tipple.  City Pub paid £750,000 for the stake and following the acquisition will operate the pub under a management contract.

Helium-One-Global-Ltd (LON:HE1) has begun the mobilisation of a drill rig ahead of a pivotal programme at the Rukwa helium project in Tanzania.  The drill rig and equipment is being moved to a holding yard about 100 kilometres from Rukwa.

Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) swung into profit in 2020 as the cryptocurrency miner said it had crossed “a major inflexion point” during the year amid a surge in revenues. The company reported a net profit of £1.7mln as revenues jumped 120%.

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