Shares in telecoms giant BT Group rose nearly 3% to 179.8p today despite a bigger rival entering the UK market.
Telefonica and Liberty Global have merged their UK businesses, O2 and Virgin Media UK respectively, with the aim of shaking up the status quo.
The £31 billion mega-merger of O2 and Virgin Media – the biggest UK corporate combination in a decade – has created an industry behemoth boasting around 46.5 million customers, based on 2019 figures.
Of these Virgin Media O2 customers, an estimated 32.6m are on mobile services, with 5.3m on broadband, 4.9m on other phone contracts and 3.7m using the enlarged group’s TV offering.
Meanwhile, Brent crude was up by 1.24% at $70.19 a barrel, as of 7.15pm, continuing a strong start to the week for the global oil benchmark.
The FTSE 100 closed 57.85 points, or 0.82%, higher at 7,080.46.
London stocks lifted after the bank holiday weekend on the back of a strong showing by mining firms and positive manufacturing figures.
The latest data for the manufacturing sector showed strong growth and a positive rebound in the economy.
It was roundly welcomed by UK traders and boosted commodity prices, resulting in share rises for a raft of major London-based firms including Rio Tinto, Glencore, Evraz and the oil majors.
Nationwide figures buoy the housebuilding sector
Housebuilders including Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon and Barratt made gains after the latest figures from lender Nationwide showed prices soared by 10.9% annually in May.
Waste and recycling giant Biffa saw its shares climb despite tumbling to hefty annual losses as it reported trading figures “ahead” of its expectations.
The firm highlighted a positive outlook after swinging to pre-tax losses of £52.8 million in the year to the end of March, from profits of £56.4m in the previous 12 months. Shares rose 8p to 300.5p.
Bullish outlook from Wickes
Elsewhere, DIY retailer Wickes also improved in value after it said a jump in sales in recent months meant half-year profits were likely to come in at the top end of its forecasts.
The company, which was only spun off from Travis Perkins just over a month ago, said it benefited from a “notably strong” April. Shares closed 12p higher at £2.68.
The pound increased by 0.03% versus the US dollar to 1.417 and was up by 0.05% against the euro at 1.157.