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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
01/09/201700:29:00Politico Veteran's News Venture Axios Aims to Fix Advertising
01/04/201709:57:00Nigeria Awards 39 Crude-Oil Term Contracts for 2017
12/29/201605:17:00BP Enters 20-Year LNG Supply Pact With Thailand's PTT
12/28/201603:02:00Business Watch -- WSJ
12/27/201616:58:00BP Agrees to Buy Woolworths Fuels Business for $1.29 Billion
12/22/201618:28:00ADRs End Lower
12/21/201617:22:00BP Repairing Unit at Whiting, Ind., Refinery -- Source
12/20/201603:02:00BP Ramps Up Deal Making -- WSJ
12/19/201612:25:00BP Eyes Growth with String of Oil, Gas Deals
12/17/201607:53:00Correction to BP Strikes UAE Oil Fields Deal story
12/17/201607:25:00BP Strikes $1.8 Billion Deal for 10% Stake in UAE Oil Fields
12/13/201611:20:00BP Internal Report Reveals Near-Miss Accidents
12/13/201611:11:00BP Internal Report Reveals Near-Miss Accidents
12/12/201607:40:00Eni to Sell Egyptian Gas-Field Stake to Rosneft
12/08/201603:02:00Russia Sells a Stake in Oil Giant -- WSJ
12/07/201619:01:00Russia Sells Stake in Oil Giant Rosneft to Glencore, Qatar...
12/07/201616:40:00Glencore, Qatar Buy Stake in Russian Oil Producer Rosneft
12/07/201616:20:00Glencore, Qatar Buy Stake in Russian Oil Producer Rosneft
12/05/201613:44:00Australia's BHP Billiton Wins Bidding for Stake in Mexico's Trion...
12/05/201613:20:00Australia's BHP Billiton Wins Bidding for Stake in Mexico's Trion...

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