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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
07/30/201405:10:05Total to Review Russia Sanctions
07/30/201404:27:17Total Avoids Investor Ire Over Russia Business, So Far -- Market...
07/29/201412:50:15European Shares Reverse Losses -- 3rd Update
07/29/201412:11:08EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Shrug Off Russia Sanctions Amid...
07/29/201412:10:12EUROPE MARKETS: BP Among Losers In Europe On Russia Sanctions...
07/29/201412:05:30LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Breaks Two-day Losing Streak; BP Drops
07/29/201406:46:50LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Breaking Two-day Losing Streak; BP Slips
07/29/201404:53:03EUROPE MARKETS: GKN, Renault Among European Stocks On The Move
07/29/201404:40:04BP Reports Rise in Second-Quarter Profit
07/29/201403:47:30LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Breaks Two-day Losing Streak; BP Climbs
07/25/201408:40:33Rosneft Working on Sanctions Strategy
07/24/201410:18:56Investors Look for Signs from BP's New Downstream Chief -- Market...
07/23/201408:30:10BP Executive in Advanced Talks to Head U.K's Centrica
07/23/201408:11:25BP plc 2Q 2014 -- Forecast
07/23/201407:54:37Top BP Executive in Advanced Talks to Head U.K's Centrica, Says...
07/22/201413:12:47EUROPE MARKETS: FTSE Hits 2-week High As Oil Shares Rise Across...
07/22/201410:05:24EUROPE MARKETS: Oil Shares Drive Higher In Europe; Publicis Slides
07/22/201406:41:02EUROPE MARKETS: Oil Shares, ARM Drive Gains In European Markets
07/11/201408:30:35North Sea Maintenance Means August Crude-Oil Loadings to Fall...
07/09/201412:26:38EUROPE MARKETS: U.K.'s FTSE 100 Yanked Lower By Insurers

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