TUESDAY MARKET CLOSE: More takeover talk as Footsie idles

SABMiller, the maker of Grolsh and Peroni, was up more than 5 per cent. Picture: Getty
SABMiller, the maker of Grolsh and Peroni, was up more than 5 per cent. Picture: Getty
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Brewing giant SABMiller was the latest stock to fizz amid the recent spate of intoxicating takeover rumours.

The maker of Grolsh and Peroni was up more than 5 per cent, adding 182.5p to 3,460p as decade-old chatter about a bid from AB Inbev gained a new head of froth.

The wider market spent the day in the red but a positive open on Wall Street helped the FTSE 100 Index cut most of its losses and close at 6,873.55, just 1.45 points lower.

Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “It appears that central bank support means investors are happy to hold onto existing positions but with the market having gone so long without a big correction, they are reticent about adding to them. So with no buying or selling, volumes are thin and prices directionless.”

Imperial Tobacco rose 20p to 2,623p after it announced plans to spin off its Logista distribution unit through a flotation in Spain.

Fashion retailer Next was among the top-flight fallers after it announced the departure of long-serving product director Christos Angelides to join US firm Abercrombie & Fitch. Shares fell nearly 2 per cent, or 110p, to 6,515p.

Also lower was BG Group after Exane BNP Paribas said the market was underestimating the task required to turn around its performance. Shares in the oil and gas firm fell 8.5p to 1,242.5p.

BT was the biggest faller after rival Sky Sports announced it will launch a new channel dedicated to European football next season. BT was off 9.6p at 396.5p, as the move counters its attempts to muscle into the sports broadcasting market.

Outside the top flight, shares in Ted Baker were 4 per cent lower despite the fashion chain notching a double-digit sales rise. Shares opened higher but were later 84p lower at 1,935p.