Updates from BT, Vodafone and Drax Group

Morrisons shares skid again mean German takeover target speculation rises for British Telecom

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A more downbeat FTSE 100 on Friday following Thursday's 1.3% loss. The index dumped 54 more points, down 0.80% to 6,804.6. M&S shares took the brunt of the anxiety, down 3.2% to 560p. HikmaPharma, down 2.78% and Morrisons, down 2.6%, also suffered. However RBS shares were helped up almost 1.5% to 357p.

The Dow Jones looked slightly more resilient, falling 0.31% to 17,849.4 however concern about interest rate rises made their presence felt; in total the Dow fell more than 160 points, or 0.9%, for the full week. Verizon was Friday's biggest faller, tumbling 1.8%.

A quiet start to the week for trading news. Power generation operator Drax Group claims trading conditions remain challenging, with weak gas markets resulting in the continuation of weak power prices.

However Drax claims it's still benefiting from a strong contracted position and good operational performance of its generating units it claims.

"These factors underpin our expectations for the full year, which remain unchanged." Drax announces full half-year numbers on 28 July for the six months to 30 June.

There's increasing speculation BT is being eyed by Deutsche Telekom as a takeover target. It's thought Deutsche is attempting to merge T-Mobile US, its US arm, with Dish Networks.

That would - if a deal is sealed - open the cash taps for new deals in Europe. Deutsche will already take a significant tranche of BT following its EE takeever. However a deal could be risky on several fronts.

Were the UK to quit the eurozone a merger would become rather less attractive. The BT-EE deal is to be scrutinised by the Competition and Markets Authority this week.

Finally, Vodafone has confirmed it is looking at doing a swap with Liberty Global - though merger talk is being squashed for now. Liberty Global is Europe's largest cable TV operator.

Vodafone's UK, German and Dutch operations would be a good fit for Liberty's Cable services, some analysts have suggested. Currently Liberty owns Virgin Media.

Such a deal would create a new mobile and Pay-TV powerhouse with, very likely, substantial synergies. A European asset swap could also strengthen Vodafone's share price.

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