Market Report: Bullish advertising view makes ITV a must-watch

A positive outlook for advertising revenue gave a boost to ITV, as investors switched on to the broadcaster. The company was lifted by a wide-ranging note on the media sector from Goldman Sachs, in which it upped its forecast for global advertising.

Saying it had "good ad momentum", the broker kept ITV as a "conviction buy" and picked out a number of positive factors, including its belief that it could be one of a number of European companies seeing "a benefit from cuts at state competitors".

As a result, the group touched 74.20p, before falling back towards the end of the day to finish on 73.05p, a rise of 1.05p. Goldman Sachs also talked up WPP and Informa – up 12.5p to 793p and 2.2p to 424.8p respectively – but it was less keen on Reed Elsevier, which retreated 6.5p to 531p.

Overall, the FTSE 100 failed to continue its strong start to the year, ending 24.35 points weaker on 6,019.51. The blue-chip index seemed in good shape for much of the session, but retreated in the final hours with investors cautious ahead of today's key non-farm payroll figures from the US.

The miners played a large role in the late fall, but Randgold Resources managed to jump up 15p to 5,105p after Citigroup upped its recommendation on the gold miner to "buy" from "hold".

Meanwhile, Centamin Egypt added 1.9p to 172p as market gossips speculated that it could be a takeover target. Rio Tinto and European Goldfields were two of the names rumoured as being potentially interested, and a price was mentioned of 275p-a-share, yet traders were left unconvinced.

Analysts from Nomura took a close look at copper and were generally bullish, agreeing "with the consensus view that... prices should enjoy further short-term upside". However, they did caution that "many pure copper equities now price in an over-optimistic long-term outlook." Xstrata, chosen as one of the broker's top picks, was up 15.5p to 1,515p, but Antofagasta – which was downgraded to "reduce" – fell 49p to 1,537p.

Arm Holdings closed near the top of the leaderboard, climbing 10.6p to 482p following Microsoft's announcement on Wednesday that it is developing a version of Windows that will be able to use the group's technology.

The chip maker's share price was given the boost despite widespread speculation about such a move already having done the rounds in December. Investec's analysts said the news was "further evidence of the longevity of the Arm business model", although they dismissed the constant rumours about Intel potentially considering making an approach for it, saying that they see "competition issues as too great to make any such bid possible".

After being heavily criticised in a report by the US presidential panel set-up to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP finished slightly worse off, down 2.35p on 496.9p. Importantly, the oil giant was not alone in being blamed, which calmed fears over the chances of it receiving a large fine, and Evolution Securities said the report supported its "view that a gross negligence case against BP looks hard to prove".

British Airways was yesterday's best performer on the top-tier index, gaining 12.6p to 300.2p despite revealing that December's snow is expected to have cost it £50m. It was helped up by Barclays Capital, which reiterated its positive stance on the sector and picked out BA as one of its main recommendations.

The after-effects of the extreme weather continued to weigh on the mid-tier index's retailers, with Mothercare falling sharply after it issued a profit warning. The babycare retailer dropped 33p to 565p as it revealed that its full-year profits would fail to meet forecasts thanks mainly to the snow, which disrupted shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.

It was not just the poor conditions, however, which led Espirito Santo Investment Bank to reiterate its "sell" recommendation. Its analyst Sanjay Vidyarthi said that investors "will want to treat the weather impact as a one-off and focus on the excellent international growth story, but we see longer term UK issues in terms of high operational gearing, a challenging toys market and increasing mid-market competition in clothing".

McBride took the wooden spoon, driven back 10.8p to 173p. The producer of own-brand cleaning products warned that its full-year performance could end up coming in near the bottom end of expectations, blaming what it described as "the uncertain outlook for the retail sector". The news led to its blue-chip peer Reckitt Benckiser falling as well, as it closed 58p weaker on 3,518p.

Small-cap company Mouchel booked gains of 20p to close on 127.75p after Costain increased its bid for the outsourcer. The construction group had a £119m offer rejected last month, but it has now returned with an improved package worth over £150m.

Clinton Cards was yet another group feeling the effects of the pre-Christmas weather, as a profit warning led to it plummeting 3p to 25p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living