Talk of an advertising downturn dragged ITV to a four-month low.
A day before the broadcaster hosted an investor meeting, Berenberg told clients that a deteriorating TV ad market made consensus forecasts look too high. Conversations with media buyers suggested ITV’s ad revenue growth would turn negative in 2019 and investment plans were “not aggressive enough” to counter the trend, it said. ITV had already been weak after chief executive Carolyn McCall declined to comment on reports that it was bidding for Endemol Shine, the £3bn-valued production studio.
Tobacco stocks slipped after US market data showed weaker cigarette volumes.
Imperial Brands was also held back by cautious comment from Morgan Stanley, which cited its reliance on the UK and US and a lack of next-generation products.
Regus office owner IWG was the FTSE 250’s sharpest faller after Credit Suisse advised selling. Accelerated growth would drag on IWG’s earnings and leave the company vulnerable to any downturn, with pressure exacerbated by a switch to new accounting rules for recording leases on the balance sheets, it said.
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