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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
04/29/201608:40:00Oil Companies Begin to Benefit From Cost Cuts
04/28/201603:15:00John Wood Group Secures $500 Million Services Contract
04/27/201603:03:00Huge Oil Spill From 2010 Still Shadows BP -- WSJ
04/27/201603:02:00Oil-Price Jump Lifts Energy Stocks -- WSJ
04/26/201620:06:00BP Results Still Hurt by Gulf of Mexico Spill -- 5th Update
04/26/201618:27:00BP Results Still Hurt by Gulf of Mexico Spill -- 4th Update
04/26/201618:05:00ADRs End Mostly Higher; Orange Rises
04/26/201616:29:00Energy Up With Oil Futures -- Energy Roundup
04/26/201615:28:00BP Results Still Hurt by Gulf of Mexico Spill -- 3rd Update
04/26/201615:10:00U.S. Oil Prices Settle at 2016 High
04/26/201607:14:00BP Results Still Hurt by Gulf of Mexico Spill -- 2nd Update
04/26/201605:13:00BP Results Still Hurt by Gulf of Mexico Spill -- Update
04/26/201604:16:00Correction to BP Reports First-Quarter Pretax Loss Story
04/26/201604:10:00Global Stocks Steady Ahead of Central Bank Meetings
04/26/201603:20:00BP Earnings Beat Expectations
04/26/201603:02:00Aramco IPO: Big Payday, Big Risks -- WSJ
04/26/201602:56:00BP Reports First-Quarter Pretax Loss
04/25/201620:05:00Saudi Aramco to Become Holding Company -- 3d Update
04/25/201615:17:00Saudi Aramco to Become Holding Company -- 2nd Update
04/25/201613:05:00Saudi Aramco to Become Holding Company--Update

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