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LONDON MARKETS: Shire Leads U.K. Market Higher On Takeover Speculation

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Stocks in the U.K. rose Tuesday, headed by Shire PLC on speculation the drug maker may land an acquisition offer, and the market held its ground after quarterly economic growth in the U.K. came in at a slower rate than anticipated. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.5% to 335.54, building on Monday's gain of 0.2% when another drug maker, AstraZeneca PLC, jumped 14% on indications Pfizer Inc. (PFE) may step up its takeover efforts. AstraZeneca shares on Tuesday were in the loss column, down 0.7%. But Shire climbed to the top of the FTSE's list of advancers, rising 3.9% in the wake of a Reuters report that Allergan Inc. (AGN) is getting ready to approach Shire again about a potential merger. Reports emerged last week that previous talks between Shire and Allergan about a tie-up didn't pan out. Botox maker Allergan itself is currently being pursued by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (VRX) in partnership with activist investor William Ackman. A representative from Shire said the company doesn't comment on market speculation. London-listed stocks held steady after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said the economy grew by 0.8% in the first three months of the year, just shy of the 0.9% growth analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected. The quarterly rate was also lower than the Bank of England's estimate of 1%. Gross domestic product for the first quarter rose 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. The pound (GBPUSD) initially dropped against the U.S. dollar after the data, to $1.6799, from $1.685 earlier Tuesday and Monday's level around $1.6809. Britain's currency has since come off its lows to buy $1.6813. Shares of BP PLC (BP) were up 0.9% after the oil major raised its dividend to 9.75 cents a share from 9 cents a share last year. First-quarter production fell 8.5% to 2.13 million barrels of oil a day and revenue declined to $91.71 billion from $94.11 billion a year ago. More news from MarketWatch: FBI unit to help find pillaged foreign assets Cirrus Logic to buy Wolfson Microelectronics PLC Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

Stock News for Bp (BP)
DateTimeHeadline
08/24/201517:37:00ADRs End Lower; Chinese, Commodities Firms Decline
08/24/201514:19:00Mining, Oil Stocks Feel Market Heat
08/17/201513:59:00BP Says Key Unit at Indiana Refinery Remains Shut
08/13/201518:48:19BP Manipulated Texas Natural Gas Market in 2008, Judge Says...
08/13/201518:42:51BP Manipulated Texas Natural Gas Market in 2008, Judge Says...
08/13/201517:20:08BP Manipulated Texas Natural Gas Market, Judge Says
08/13/201517:10:29BP Manipulated Texas Natural Gas Market in 2008, Judge Says
08/13/201517:00:03U.S. Oil Prices Fall to Six-Year Low
08/12/201516:05:13Oil Prices Bounce, Gasoline Soars on Strong Signs for Demand
08/12/201515:45:17BP: Indiana Refinery's Output Reduced by Shutdown of Damaged...
08/11/201518:35:17BP's Crude Unit Remains Shut at Indiana Refinery -- Sources
08/06/201504:50:03European Stocks Pressured by Weak Energy Sector
08/06/201504:45:12European Stocks Pressured by Weak Energy Sector
08/04/201516:56:06Oil Companies' Spending Cuts Unlikely to Be Enough
08/04/201509:30:00Major Integrated Oil and Gas Stocks Technical Data -- BP PLC...
07/30/201504:41:53Cape Wins GBP9.8 Million Contract From BP
07/30/201504:10:11Centrica to Shrink Oil Business, Slash Jobs
07/30/201503:16:18Subsea 7 Gets $500 Million Contract Offshore Egypt
07/29/201506:06:33Correction to BP Swings to Loss in 2Q on Deepwater Deal, Low...
07/28/201518:38:49ADRs End Higher; Baidu, BP Decline

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