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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
07/30/201504:41:53Cape Wins GBP9.8 Million Contract From BP
07/30/201504:10:11Centrica to Shrink Oil Business, Slash Jobs
07/30/201503:16:18Subsea 7 Gets $500 Million Contract Offshore Egypt
07/29/201506:06:33Correction to BP Swings to Loss in 2Q on Deepwater Deal, Low...
07/28/201518:38:49ADRs End Higher; Baidu, BP Decline
07/28/201510:47:04Correction to BP Swings to Loss Story
07/28/201509:19:13BP Swings to Loss in 2Q on Deepwater Deal, Low Oil Prices...
07/28/201509:00:23Husky Energy Profit Slumps 81% on Oil's Drop
07/28/201508:01:11BP CEO Sees Oil Prices Remaining Lower for Longer
07/28/201506:59:24BP Swings to Loss in 2Q On Deepwater Deal, Low Oil Prices --2nd...
07/28/201506:31:42BP CFO Says Further Softness in Oil Price to Come
07/28/201505:02:03BP Swings to Loss in 2Q On Deepwater Deal, Low Oil Prices --Update
07/28/201503:20:07BP Swings to Loss
07/28/201502:59:13BP Swings to Second-Quarter Loss on Lower Oil Price, Deepwater...
07/27/201511:19:06BP Looks to the Future After Settling Deepwater Horizon Claims
07/23/201506:54:58BP plc 2Q 2015 -- Forecast
07/15/201513:50:12BP Finds Itself at Odds With Regulators Again
07/15/201513:40:21BP Finds Itself at Odds With Regulators Again
07/14/201522:20:06Twitter Shares Hit by Takeover Hoax
07/14/201502:54:20Carillion Trading In Line With Expectations Wins BP Oman Contract

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