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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
07/25/201603:03:00BP Must Show It's at Last Set to Grow in Wake of Spill -- WSJ
07/24/201623:10:00BP Tries to Regain Its Footing With the 2010 Spill Behind It
07/19/201605:18:00North Sea Oil Firms Buoyed by Brexit
07/15/201603:03:00BP's Gulf-Spill Tab Hits $62 Billion -- WSJ
07/14/201617:49:00BP Estimates Remaining Material Deepwater Liabilities -- 4th...
07/14/201617:28:00BP Estimates Remaining Material Deepwater Liabilities -- 3rd...
07/14/201615:53:00BP Estimates Remaining Material Deepwater Liabilities -- 2nd...
07/14/201615:09:00BP Estimates Remaining Material Deepwater Liabilities -- Update
07/14/201614:10:00BP Estimates Remaining Material Deepwater Liabilities
07/14/201614:04:00BP Estimates Remaining Material Deepwater Liabilities
07/14/201613:30:00Pan American Energy to Invest $1.4 Billon in Argentina
07/06/201603:03:00Battered Oil Companies Ready to Spend Again -- WSJ
07/05/201617:34:00Big Oil Finding Money for Biggest Projects -- 3rd Update
07/05/201611:05:00Big Oil Finding Money for Biggest Projects -- Second Update
07/05/201607:42:00Chevron, Exxon to Put $36.8 Billion More Into Kazakh Oil Project...
06/28/201611:50:00Two Explosions Rock Mississippi Natural Gas Plant
06/20/201605:35:00BP Sanctions Fast-Track Development of Atoll Discovery in Egypt
06/17/201606:08:00BP and Rosneft Create Joint Venture to Explore for Oil in East...
06/15/201608:50:00European Corporations Urge U.K. to Remain in EU
06/11/201603:04:00BP to Spin Off Norwegian Oil, Gas Fields -- WSJ

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