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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
12/17/201413:49:34European Stocks Buffeted by Oil -- 3rd Update
12/16/201415:44:10Ruble's Decline Deepens Concerns for European Companies
12/16/201413:22:22Shockwaves From Oil Plunge Hit Stocks, Currencies -- 5th Update
12/15/201417:25:27Woodside Slows Progress on Browse LNG Development
12/15/201413:23:59LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Sheds Gains As Oil, Mining Stocks Drop
12/15/201413:23:54LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100's Sheds Gains As Oil, Mining Stocks...
12/15/201413:01:34LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Gains On Respite For Oil Shares
12/11/201413:03:12LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Logs 4th Straight Losing Day As Miners...
12/11/201410:43:08LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Eyes 4th Straight Losing Day As Miners...
12/11/201404:36:19Wood Group Eyes Earnings Growth Despite Oil Price Slump
12/11/201404:09:17LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Higher As Oil Stocks Advance
12/10/201418:22:51ADR Shares End Lower; Shares of Oil Firms Fall
12/10/201413:19:13LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Turns Lower As Energy Stocks Stung By...
12/10/201409:25:23BP to Book $1 Billion in Restructuring Charges -- 2nd Update
12/10/201405:12:06BP to Book $1 Billion of Restructuring Charges -- Update
12/10/201404:40:17BP to Book $1 Billion of Restructuring Charges
12/09/201416:03:38LONDON MARKETS: Tesco Hits 14-year Low In London After Warning
12/08/201418:58:09Supreme Court Rejects BP Plea to Review Deepwater Horizon Settlement...
12/08/201418:55:35LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Falls As Investors Fret About Global...
12/08/201418:51:32Supreme Court Rejects BP Plea to Review Deepwater Horizon Settlement...

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