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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
08/30/201603:04:00Statoil Slashes Project Spending -- WSJ
08/29/201621:10:00Companies' Report on Brazil Dam Failure Adds Little New on Causes
08/29/201604:40:00Statoil Recalibrates Giant North Sea Project to Save Billions...
08/29/201604:09:00Statoil to Cut Costs, Raise Output at Giant North Sea Oil Project...
08/25/201603:03:00Oil Firms Binge on Debt -- WSJ
08/24/201617:12:00Largest Oil Companies' Debts Hit Record High -- Update
08/24/201605:59:00Largest Oil Companies' Debts Hit Record High
08/02/201615:00:00Executives at Riverstone on Hook to Return More Than $300 Million...
07/30/201603:02:00Oil Price Retreat Slams Producers -- WSJ
07/29/201615:21:00Low Crude Prices Hammer Big Oil Companies -- Update
07/29/201612:30:00Low Crude Prices Hammer Big Oil Companies
07/29/201612:11:00Low Crude Prices Hammer Big Oil Companies
07/29/201605:30:00Italy's Eni Posts Loss on Weak Oil Price
07/29/201603:03:00Crude Slump Weighs On Oil Firms' Earnings -- WSJ
07/28/201610:52:00Oil Price Rout Casts Shadow Over Earnings in Energy sector
07/27/201605:50:00Statoil Cuts Spending After Posting a Net Loss
07/26/201618:05:00ADRs End Higher; Telecom Italia, Tim Participacoes Rise
07/26/201608:48:00BP Suffers Third Straight Quarterly Loss -- 2nd Update
07/26/201604:11:00BP Suffers Third Straight Quarterly Loss -- Update
07/26/201603:30:00BP Posts Loss of $2.25 Billion

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