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* FTSE 100 up 0.1 pct
* Burberry jumps after Coty deal
* ITV drops after M&A disappointment
* Imagination plummets as Apple abandons firm
By Kit Rees
LONDON, April 3 Britain's top share index rose
on Monday in choppy trade, beginning the second quarter on a
positive note as gains among oil-related stocks and Burberry
supported the FTSE 100 index.
The blue chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.1 percent at
7,328.28 points by 0954 GMT.
Luxury firm Burberry was the top riser, jumping 1.7
percent after saying that it would transfer its beauty business
to U.S. group Coty in a deal that will bring in around
$225 million plus ongoing royalty payments.
"It’s maybe one of those signature deals which could raise
expectations of a new way of doing business, a new extra source
of revenue beyond the traditional model," Jasper Lawler, senior
market analyst at London Capital Group, said.
A rally in oil stocks also lent support, with BP up
1.2 percent and Royal Dutch Shell rising 0.5 percent as
the price of crude oil prices edged higher.
British banks were the biggest drag on the index, however,
taking off around 4 points, with Barclays and Royal
Bank of Scotland, down 1 percent and 0.3 percent
respectively, in line with a broader decline among continental
ITV was the biggest individual faller, dropping 2.6
percent and giving back a large part of the gains it made on
Friday on the back of M&A speculation.
Late on Friday, ITV jumped following a regulatory ownership
filing that fuelled speculation of renewed Liberty Global
interest in the company.
ITV's shares pulled back on Monday after Liberum analysts
said that it had spoken with the company and ITV had said that
the move was not Liberty increasing their stake in ITV.
Data showing that British manufacturing lost some of its
momentum last month disappointed, as purchasing managers' index
(PMI) figures showed that manufacturing growth slowed in the
first three months of this year.
Retailer Next was another sizeable faller, down 2
percent after Exane BNP Paribas cut its rating on the stock to
"underperform" from "neutral".
Outside of the blue chips, Imagination Technologies
plunged more than 60 percent, on track for its biggest one-day
loss on record after its biggest customer Apple said
that it would stop using the British firm's graphics technology
in the iPhone and other products in up to two years' time.
"It’s the worst nightmare for Imagination. Apple accounts
for about half its revenues – you simply cannot easily replace a
customer of that scale in a hurry, hence the gigantic selloff in
the stock," Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital,
(Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Stephen Powell)