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Buoyant media sector supports European shares

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19:40 12-07-2018
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A buoyant media sector following a new bid for British pay-TV firm Sky (SKYB.L) drove European shares higher on Thursday, helping them to stabilize after heavy losses in the previous session when fears of an escalating trade war hit markets, Reuters reports.

The region’s media index .SXMP rose 1 percent, with Sky up 2.2 percent after U.S.-based Comcast (CMCSA.O) submitted a $34 billion bid for the group a few hours after Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox raised its offer.

Sky traded above Comcast’s recommended offer price of 14.75 pounds as investors bet Fox would make another higher bid.

“Fox has spent 18 months going through the UK regulatory process to acquire Sky and we don’t believe 1400p is likely to be its final offer,” Credit Suisse analysts led by Matthew Walker said in a note.

They lifted their price target on the stock to 16 pounds.

Europe’s media index has outperformed the market this month, underpinned by the bidding war for Sky but also helped by expectations of a lift to advertising sales from the World Cup soccer matches for broadcasters such as France’s TF1 and Britain’s ITV.