Mobile telecommunications stocks were on the rise on Monday as the share price of satellite operator Inmarsat jumped after the successful launch of its first Global Xpress (GX) satellite.
The company confirmed that the Inmarsat-5 F1 satellite, which was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan this weekend, had separated from the spacecraft at 03:43 GMT on Sunday. This is part of a $1.6bn investment by Inmarsat into the next generation of global mobile broadband communications.
Chief Executive Officer Rupert Peace labelled it as "a major landmark on our journey to deliver the world's first globally available, high speed mobile broadband service". He said that Inmarsat is on schedule to achieve full global coverage by the end of 2014.
The stock was 5.8% higher at 730.57p in afternoon trading.
Jefferies raised its target price for Inmarsat today from 750p to 790p and maintained a 'buy' rating, saying that the GX launch is a "critical milestone in the equity story".
The broker also highlighted the upcoming auction for LightSquared's spectrum assets this week, which could result in Inmarsat's US partner resuming payments to the British company under their co-operation agreement.
Elsewhere in the sector, phone network giant Vodafone was making gains after announcing its new social media-led brand engagement strategy to be launched across its markets throughout 2014.
The company said that 'Vodafone Firsts' represents its move away from a traditional 'badging' sponsorship approach to a "much deeper and direct interaction" with its customers. The strategy focuses on examples of people doing "remarkable things for the first time, inspired and enabled by Vodafone's technology and connectivity".
The stock was 1.23% higher at 233.7p.
Vodafone was also making headlines on reports that India's foreign investment regulator has put off a decision on the telecom's proposed full takeover of its Indian arm.
Others in the sector including Monitise, Mobile Streams and Avanti Communications were also in demand on Monday.
Top performing sectors so far today
Mobile Telecommunications 5,414.67 +0.98%
Electronic & Electrical Equipment 4,263.00 +0.93%
Aerospace and Defence 5,127.70 +0.63%
Household Goods & Home Construction 10,978.12 +0.51%
Electricity 8,803.84 +0.48%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Mining 16,023.34 -0.52%
General Retailers 2,656.77 -0.39%
Banks 4,762.94 -0.38%
Technology Hardware & Equipment 1,169.56 -0.38%
Tobacco 35,715.67 -0.35%