Market Report: ITV has Disney to blame for fall to the bottom of FTSE 100

The warning sparked a sell-off in Disney, Viacom and other media stocks

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The Independent Online

ITV had Disney to blame for its fall to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leaderboard.

Earlier this week Disney boss Bob Iger flagged an expected decline in its television division, home to ABC and ESPN, as viewers moved towards online TV streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The warning sparked a sell-off in Disney, Viacom and other media stocks – one that reached British shores yesterday.

ITV, which has been looking to the US to expand its content-creation arm, was hit the hardest, dropping 9.3p to 262.3p.

Sky, at risk from what UBS analysts called cord-cutting – cancelling subscriptions – or customers trading down to smaller bundles, fell 15p to 1,085p.

But analysts were keen to stress the difference between US and European TV markets, and said the declines could prove a good buying opportunity for eagle-eyed investors.

A strong showing for the FTSE 100’s bruised miners couldn’t lift the blue-chip index out of the red and it lost 28.6 points to end at 6,718.49.

Anglo American rose 25.1p to 800.5p, Antofagasta was 9.5p higher at 589.5p and Rio Tinto was up 12p at 2,587.5p. But Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at Spreadex, said investors were still wary of the industry “given how quickly the commodity sector has turned of late”.

William Hill suffered one of its worst days this year as it tumbled 26.6p to 384.3p after the bookie unveiled a 12 per cent fall in first-half profits, blamed on a hike in the taxes charged on online betting and machine games.

Meanwhile the online poker company Bwin.Party slipped 0.2 p to 116.0p, despite a new, improved offer from GVC and the private equity firm Cerberus, valuing it at £1.03bn.

Bwin has already accepted a £900m offer from its rival 888, which was unchanged at 170p yesterday, arguing that GVC’s previous £1bn bid approach was too complex.

On the mid-cap index, the housebuilder Bellway jumped 18p to 2,473p after revealing it has built a record number of homes and generated a three percentage point increase in operating margins in the past year.