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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
01/22/201518:11:19Ex-BP Executive Named Apache CFO -- Update
01/20/201517:20:44Judge May Allow BP to Pay Deepwater Fines Over Time--Update
01/20/201517:00:34Judge May Allow BP to Pay Deepwater Fines Over Time
01/19/201520:22:06Anadarko To Fight Gulf-Spill Fine
01/19/201513:08:06LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stocks Log Third Straight Session Of Gains
01/19/201512:58:19EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Hit Seven-year High With ECB...
01/19/201511:25:28EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Hit Seven-year Highs With ECB...
01/19/201508:49:07LONDON MARKETS: U.K. Stocks Eye Third Straight Session Of Gains
01/19/201506:22:23EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Edge Higher, But Oil Shares Underperform
01/18/201515:39:28Anadarko to Fight Oil-Spill Fine
01/18/201515:08:38Low Oil Prices to Play Into BP Fine
01/16/201512:25:56LONDON MARKETS: Resource Firms Lift FTSE To Erase Potential Weekly...
01/16/201510:55:24LONDON MARKETS: Resource Firms Lift FTSE To Erase Weekly Loss
01/16/201509:49:07RWE to Complete Dea Sale by March -- Update
01/16/201504:09:11LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Faces Third Straight Week Of Losses
01/16/201501:50:48Oil Stable in Asian Trade but Speedy Rebound Unlikely
01/15/201519:24:37BP Faces Up to $13.7 Billion in Fines in Deepwater Gulf Spill...
01/15/201518:38:35ADR Shares End Mixed; Anheuser-Busch InBev Shares Edge Up
01/15/201518:02:49BP Faces Up to $13.7 Billion in Fines in Deepwater Gulf Spill...
01/15/201507:14:39Tullow Oil Cuts Exploration Budget -- Update

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