Reuters says it is not in formal talks to sell its electronic broking and trading network Instinet, but reiterates that the business is no longer viewed as a core asset.
Media speculation that the global news and information group was lining up a $2 billion sale of Instinet drove Reuters shares up to a seven-month high of 414 pence in early morning trading.
Reuters has moved to dampen rumours of an imminent sale, while reiterating CEO Tom Glocer's comments in September that "the core Reuters business does not need to own Instinet to be successful".
News of a possible deal excited the market since proceeds from a sale would increase the likelihood of a share buy back or cash return to shareholders.
A successful sell-off would also draw to a close Reuters' disposal of non-core assets and pave the way for a probable take-over of Telerate, a deal which would bolster Reuters' position in the US institutional markets as it looks to compete with Bloomberg and Thomson for fixed income business.