By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

Vodafone Group rallied after outlining plans to possibly sell its portfolio of 61,700 towers, bolstering London stocks on Friday.

The U.K. FTSE 100 rose 0.6% to 7,534.17, and the mid-cap FTSE 250 gained 0.2% to 19,856.70.

What's moving markets

Earnings beats for Google owner Alphabet and Intel helped lift U.S. stocks on Friday, as second-quarter U.S. GDP topped estimates. Earnings also helped lift the fortunes of Europe stocks on Friday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/earnings-help-europe-stocks-rebound-with-vodafone-and-vivendi-rallying-2019-07-26).

Focus stocks

Vodafone Group (VOD.LN) (VOD.LN) shares jumped nearly 10% as the mobile phone giant set out plans to separate its European tower infrastructure business (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/vodafone-to-split-off-europe-tower-unit-2019-07-26), possibly by an initial public offering.

George Salmon, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the stake stale could net Vodafone about 14 billion to 15 billion euros from the stake sale -- enough to halve Vodafone's net debt.

Vodafone also reported a slight decline in fiscal first-quarter revenue and confirmed its earnings guidance.

Pearson (PSON.LN) shares rose 6%, as the educational publisher lifted its adjusted earnings per share guidance for the year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pearson-lifts-guidance-for-the-year-2019-07-26), helped by lower finance charges and taxes than anticipated and sales growth at its online degree program unit.

Anglo American shares (AAL.LN) tumbled 4% as the miner's largest shareholder, Indian tycoon Anil Agarwal, announced a stake sale late on Thursday. Agarwal has pushed Anglo American to refocus on South Africa and position itself for new opportunities in India.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2019 09:43 ET (13:43 GMT)

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