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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
12/08/201603:02:00Russia Sells a Stake in Oil Giant -- WSJ
12/07/201619:01:00Russia Sells Stake in Oil Giant Rosneft to Glencore, Qatar...
12/07/201616:40:00Glencore, Qatar Buy Stake in Russian Oil Producer Rosneft
12/07/201616:20:00Glencore, Qatar Buy Stake in Russian Oil Producer Rosneft
12/05/201613:44:00Australia's BHP Billiton Wins Bidding for Stake in Mexico's Trion...
12/05/201613:20:00Australia's BHP Billiton Wins Bidding for Stake in Mexico's Trion...
12/05/201612:50:00BHP Billiton Wins Bidding for Stake in Mexico's Trion Oil Field
12/05/201605:55:00BP Starts Drilling New Carboniferous Prospect in Southern North...
12/02/201614:52:00Oil Giants Set to Bid on Mexico's Deep-Water Oil Fields
12/01/201615:00:00BP to Proceed with Deep Water Project in Gulf of Mexico -- 2nd...
12/01/201614:29:00BP to Proceed with Deep Water Project in Gulf of Mexico -- Update
12/01/201612:30:00BP to Proceed with Mad Dog Project in Gulf of Mexico
12/01/201612:12:00BP to Proceed with Mad Dog Project in Gulf of Mexico
11/27/201607:29:00Oil Industry Anticipates 'Peak Demand' Day of Reckoning
11/26/201603:02:00BUSINESS Watch -- WSJ
11/25/201615:18:00BP to Buy 10% Stake in Eni's Giant Zohr Gas Field Off Egypt Coast...
11/25/201613:10:00BP to Buy 10% Stake in Eni's Giant Zohr Gas Field Off Egypt Coast
11/25/201613:04:00BP to Buy 10% Stake in Eni's Giant Zohr Gas Field Off Egypt Coast
11/18/201611:40:00Gazprom Cuts Staff by 20% in London Trading Business, Sources...
11/15/201610:27:00BP And GE Launch New Offshore Digital Technology With Plans To...

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