London market opens higher as Iran deal dominates headlines

The FTSE 100 opened 0.4% higher at 7,596.65 in a market dominated by telecoms news and the US pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

The FTSE 100 opened 0.4% higher at 7,596.65 in a market dominated by telecoms news and the US pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Asian markets were also higher early with the Hang Seng up 0.2% at 30,460.97 and the Nikkei down 0.4% at 22,408.88. US markets closed flat Tuesday, the DJIA at 24,360.21 and S&P 500 flat at 2,671.92.

Shares in Vodafone Group traded 1.78% higher at 211.22 after the company offered €18.4 billion to buy John Malone's Liberty Global, the world’s biggest international cable company. 

Liberty will sell its businesses in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic to its British peer helping Vodafone create one of the continent's biggest telecommunications companies. The deal might face a possibly lengthy review by the European antitrust agency.

Oil producers also started the day higher as oil prices hit a three and a half year high with Brent crude peaking at $76.75 a barrel in early trade while WTI reached $70.57/bbl, trading above $70/bbl for the first time since November 2014. 

The oil markets spun into an upward spiral following Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear deal, a move which could mean renewed sanctions on Iran and a disruption of the global oil supply flow. In response, BP shares rose 1.77% to 559.90 and Royal Dutch traded up 1.73% at 2,594. 

The pound recovered from the knock it received on Tuesday when it dropped because UK house prices showed lower than expected growth. On Wednesday the pound firmed against other major currencies, reaching a 5-day high against the dollar at $1.3593 and a weekly high against the euro of EUR0.8776. Sterling also moved up against the yen to Y148.08.

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