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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
11/14/201412:29:06EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Slip; Eurozone Data Highlight...
11/14/201411:02:22LONDON MARKETS: Tesco Gains After Upgrade, But Miners Fall In...
11/14/201407:50:41EUROPE MARKETS: Oil Stocks Fall In Europe; Eurozone Data Highlight...
11/14/201405:01:22MARKET SNAPSHOT: London Stock Exchange Boosts FTSE 100; SABMiller...
11/14/201404:45:52LONDON MARKETS: Tesco Gains After Upgrade, But Resource Shares...
11/13/201412:55:50EUROPE MARKETS: Oil Shares Drop In Europe As Brent Falls Below...
11/10/201412:26:10Saudi Aramco, BP Say Oil Slump Won't Hit Investment Plans--Update
11/07/201412:25:39LONDON MARKETS: Miners, Oil Stocks Lead FTSE 100 To Third Day...
11/05/201412:26:41LONDON MARKETS: M&S Leads FTSE To First Gain In Three Days
11/04/201412:49:19EUROPE MARKETS: Stoxx 600 Sharply Lower After EU Cuts Growth...
11/04/201412:47:50LONDON MARKETS: FTSE Hobbled By Oil Firms, Eurozone Growth Concerns
11/04/201410:43:59European Energy Companies Weighed by Falling Oil
11/04/201410:16:44LONDON MARKETS: FTSE Bruised By Oil Firms, Eurozone Growth Concerns
11/04/201408:45:13LONDON MARKETS: FTSE Shakes Off Oil-firm Losses; Tobacco Firms...
11/03/201412:15:16LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Breaks Four-day Winning Streak
10/30/201421:09:37Apple CEO Says He's 'Proud to Be Gay'
10/29/201418:49:23ADR Shares End Mixed; Sanofi, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria...
10/29/201413:58:35LONDON MARKETS: Oil Stocks Lift FTSE 100 As Crude Rallies
10/28/201413:20:12EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Rebound; Stoxx 600 Up 1%
10/28/201413:12:35LONDON MARKETS: BP Fuels FTSE 100's Move Higher

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