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Despite overnight falls in Asia, stocks in London did not follow the Dow’s precipitous drop, opening marginally up in the morning and rallying through the day in hopes that the U.S. bailout plan will be redeemed.
Across Europe, London’s FTSE 100 shares closed up 84 points (1.74%) at 4,902 points although financial stocks were still hit hard including banks like mortgage broker HBOS, which fell 8%. Commercial broadcaster ITV, which announced it was axing 1,000 jobs this year, closed up 1 pence (1.8 cents) at 42 pence (75 cents), while satcaster BSkyB was up 1.7% at 4.14 pounds ($7.38).
Concerned but calm was the reaction from German investors following Monday’s Wall Street collapse. Frankfurt’s flagship DAX index opened down 2% but clawed back much of that by midday. The media/tech heavy MDAX was actually up 1.2%, with most analysts arguing that the U.S. crisis will not topple the German market.
Individual German media stocks, however, continued to suffer. Broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1, which has been in free-fall for several months, took another hit, falling more than 4% to 4.40 euros ($6.20). Pay TV operation Premiere, which has News Corp. as its largest single shareholder, was down 1.8% at 9.46 euros ($13.30).
Richard Jones of Goldman Sachs downgraded ProSieben from buy to neutral Tuesday, arguing that the global financial crisis will weigh particularly hard on the Munich-based group, which has to service a massive debt and is facing weak advertising figures in its core German market.
Premiere fared somewhat better, with most analysts cautiously optimistic about pay TV’s performance in the territory.
Mimi Turner reported from London; Scott Roxborough reported from Cologne, Germany.
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