ITV rose on continuing speculation that the group is close to a takeover. The stock has been the subject of market chatter to that effect on a number of occasions in recent times. With rather more substance, ITV's family net advertising revenues (NAR) could rise by between 8% and 14% in March according to industry forecasts, Bank of America Merrill Lynch pointed out today, well ahead of the 6% gain seen in February. For that reason the broker has raised its price target on ITV to 125p from 117p before.
Typical 'safe-haven' stocks Imperial Tobacco, Severn Trent and National Grid were also strong performers.
Meanwhile, mining stocks were hit by falling metals prices, with copper hitting a three-week low.
Gold has also been hit in recent times, pushing the likes of Fresnillo into the red.
Kazakhmys, ENRC, Evraz, Antofagasta, and Vedanta were all in the top 10 biggest fallers by late afternoon.
Anglo American was also lower, hit by news of more strikes and violence at Amplats, its South African division, coupled with comments from Credit Suisse, who said it expects the company's net debt to continue climbing.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Hammerson (HMSO) 499.50p +2.52%
ITV (ITV) 119.90p +2.48%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,358.00p +1.73%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,704.00p +1.43%
National Grid (NG.) 690.50p +1.25%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,601.00p +1.07%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 263.60p +0.92%
IMI (IMI) 1,168.00p +0.69%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,996.00p +0.60%
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