Wednesday market close: Traders cheer SABMiller talks

Stella Artois owner ABInBev is eyeing SABMiller
Stella Artois owner ABInBev is eyeing SABMiller
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Talks over a mega-merger in the brewing sector provided some cheer ahead of tomorrow’s long-awaited interest rates decision by the US Federal Reserve.

Peroni and Grolsch maker SABMiller frothed up 599.5p, or 19.9 per cent, to 3,614p after confirming that Budweiser parent Anheuser-Busch InBev was mulling an offer for the group.

The deal talks helped the wider FTSE 100 Index gain 91.61 points to close at 6,229.21.

Trustnet Direct market analyst Tony Cross said the key focus for many traders remains the meeting of policymakers at the US Fed, which may be poised to lift rates for the first time since the financial crisis, while the UK’s central bank could be heading in the same direction.

He added: “The fact that UK wage growth bumped its way to the highest level seen in six years has done little to detract from the general air of positivity at home, although this does give the Bank of England more ammunition to argue the case for a rate hike.”

Elsewhere, shares in high-end fashion group Burberry added 10p to 1,415p, helped by strong results from Swiss-based luxury house Richemont, owner of the Cartier jewellery brand, as it grew sales by 26 per cent in Europe and 48 per cent in Japan in the five months to 31 August.

Model railway firm Hornby closed 3.5p lower at 102p after the Airfix and Corgi owner warned that first-half group revenues would be lower after trading was affected by a planned overhaul of its IT systems.

But building group Galliford Try, which owns Edinburgh-based construction firms Miller and Morrison, dropped 93p or 5.2 per cent to 1,708p, despite delivering another set of record results and telling investors it was on track to meet or exceed its 2018 strategic targets.