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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
10/16/201410:55:48LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Drops Into Correction; Shire Losses...
10/14/201418:07:55ADR Shares End Mixed; Oil-Related Shares Decline
10/09/201418:22:12ADR Shares End Lower; Royal Dutch Shell, Total Shares Trade Actively
10/03/201412:14:58China Aviation Oil Has $500 Million War Chest for Asset Buys
10/03/201410:14:31China Aviation Oil Has $500 Million War Chest for Asset Buys-CEO
10/03/201404:45:36Cape PLC Secures Project with BP
09/24/201422:50:13Judge Rules Businesses Don't Have to Return BP Payouts
09/24/201422:41:30Businesses Don't Have to Return BP Gulf Spill Payouts, Judge...
09/24/201404:10:20Singapore's Pavilion Energy Signs Deal to Buy U.S. Natural Gas
09/16/201400:42:57U.K. Companies Donate Little to Camps in Scottish Independence...
09/16/201400:36:50LONDON MARKETS: Oil Firms Pull FTSE 100 Lower; SABMiller Jumps
09/10/201418:41:02U.S Readies New Energy Sanctions on Russia -- Update
09/09/201406:03:48LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Falls For Third Straight Day
09/09/201402:25:11Technip Gets Offshore Contract in Trinidad and Tobago
09/05/201413:22:11EUROPE MARKETS: Europe Stocks Hold To Losses After Ukraine Cease-fire...
09/05/201413:14:08EUROPE MARKETS: BP Gains, LSE Limps: European Share Movers
09/05/201412:49:15LONDON MARKETS: BP Outperforms, RBS Drops In London Trade
09/05/201409:49:05U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch
09/05/201408:37:04EUROPE MARKETS: BP Shares Gain, LSE Limps: European Share Moves
09/05/201404:15:09LONDON MARKETS: Metals Stocks Fall In London, But Weekly Rise...

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