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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
02/05/201607:30:00EU Approves Schlumberger's Cameron Takeover
02/05/201603:03:00Pay Dividends Or Keep Ratings
02/04/201610:18:00Shell Profit Battered by Weak Oil Prices -- 3rd Update
02/04/201608:31:00Shell Profit Battered by Weak Oil Prices -- 2nd Update
02/04/201604:34:00Shell Profit Battered by Weak Oil Prices -- Update
02/03/201619:23:00Wal-Mart to Pump Its Own Gasoline
02/03/201615:57:00Oil Prices Rise 8% on Weak Dollar, Despite Daunting Supply Data
02/03/201603:02:00Crude Slump Pressures Exxon, BP
02/03/201602:00:00Crude Oil Stays Below $30 a Barrel
02/02/201620:50:00Japan's Shares Fall Sharply
02/02/201620:10:00Oil Slump Pressures Exxon, BP Results
02/02/201619:59:00Oil Slump Pressures Exxon, BP Results
02/02/201617:33:00Stocks Fall as Sliding Oil Prices Hit Energy Shares
02/02/201617:01:00Oceaneering Announces Early Vessel Termination with BP in Angola
02/02/201616:37:00Stocks Fall as Sliding Oil Prices Hit Energy Shares
02/02/201614:54:00Exxon Mobil Profit Tumbles 58% -- 3rd Update
02/02/201614:34:00Stocks Fall as Sliding Oil Prices Hit Energy Shares
02/02/201613:49:00Stocks Fall as Sliding Oil Prices Hit Energy Shares
02/02/201612:36:00LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Dragged Down As BP Slides By The Most...
02/02/201611:44:00Exxon Mobil Profit Tumbles 58%-- 2nd Update

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