BSkyB share price up despite Ofcom ruling

BSkyB's clash with regulator Ofcom over the amount it can charge rivals for premium sports content failed to dent its shares today.

BSkyB's clash with regulator Ofcom over the amount it can charge rivals for premium sports content failed to dent its shares today.

The broadcaster was told to reduce the wholesale price of its Premier League coverage, but shares rose 3% as analysts said the ruling could have been worse after Ofcom did not include movies content in its determination.

With BSkyB also threatening to challenge Ofcom's decision at the Competition Appeal Tribunal, shares lifted 17.5p to 599.5p, taking the broadcaster to the top of the FTSE 100 Index risers board.

The Footsie was also higher, up 8 points at 5680.2, as the market recovered from the impact of weak trading in New York yesterday afternoon.

Much of the attention was on the FTSE 250 Index following a clutch of trading updates covering the financial year to the end of March.

There was also interest in shares in asset management house Gartmore after yesterday's shock news of the suspension of one of its star fund managers.

Shares plummeted 31% yesterday and opened down more than 10% today before making a tentative recovery, up 8% or 9.6p to 125.6p.

A number of second tier stocks were under pressure, including transport firm FirstGroup after it revealed that snow disruption in the UK and United States had delivered a £16m (€18m) blow to operating profits.

While progress elsewhere in the business meant it still expected to achieve a result in line with hopes, shares in the company dropped 6% or 20.8p to 353.8p.

Enterprise Inns was the biggest faller in the FTSE 250 Index, off 7% or 8.9p to 121p, as a brief trading update fuelled fears that it was still awaiting an improvement in fortunes.

The statement contained no trading figures, but included a line that it is spending more than last year supporting struggling landlords.

Northern Foods was also under pressure, even though the Fox's biscuits and Goodfella's pizza firm said it expected profits to meet City forecasts.

Shares opened higher but were later down 1.35p to 58.65p as investors reflected on the company's admission that profits at its ready meals business were under pressure due to investment costs and tough trading conditions.

Scalextric and Airfix firm Hornby offered some good news after it reported an encouraging trend in orders from retail customers. Shares rallied 13% or 15p to 129p following the update.

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