- FTSE 100 at one-week high
- Shire jumps after rejecting £27bn AbbVie proposal
- TSB rises strongly after IPO
- Iran still in the spotlight as Obama sends advisers
techMARK 2,849.46 +1.26%
FTSE 100 6,827.82 +0.29%
FTSE 250 15,761.52 +0.49%
UK stocks were making gains on Friday as yet more M&A fever in the healthcare sector and a successful stock market debut from TSB sent share prices
However, upside on the wider market was limited by ongoing concerns surrounding Iraq.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.3% higher at 6,828 by around midday after hitting a one-week high of 6,808.11 the day before.
With things looking light on the economic data calendar, investors were keeping a close on Iraq today after US President Barack Obama sent 300 military advisers to help Iraq's government in its fight against Sunni militants.
Meanwhile, oil prices
have remained at elevated levels as Islamist-led rebels continue to surround the Baiji oil refinery and Tal Afar airport in northern Iraq.
Brent crude looks set to finish with its second weekly gain today amid supply concerns surrounding the OPEC producer. Brent eased back by 0.15% to $114.89 a barrel today but was still trading close to its highest since September 2013.
Shire rebuffs AbbVie approach, healthcare stocks gain
Shares in Shire surged after the pharmaceutical group rejected a £27bn takeover approach by AbbVie, saying it "fundamentally undervalued" the company and its prospects.
Panmure Gordon hiked its target price for the stock on Friday, saying that the AbbVie's proposal was "barely adequate". The broker said that Shire's rare diseases business is one of the "hottest assets in biopharmaceuticals".
Pharma peers AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline were also rising today, along with medical devices maker Smith & Nephew which itself has been at the centre of takeover speculation in recent months.
TSB, the high-street banking arm of Lloyds, was putting in a decent performance on its first day as a listed company. Lloyds sold a bigger stake than expected in the initial public offer that was priced at 260p, above the mid-point of the 220-290p range set out earlier this month. The stock was up 13% at 294p by noon.
Debenhams was swinging between gains and losses as investors digested the company's third-quarter update. Like-for-like sales fell but reflected the impact of a later-than-usual summer sale season as expected. However, the company proposed a refinancing which results in a higher interest charge.
Supermarket group Sainsburys fell after teaming up with Danish group Dansk Supermarked to bring discount retailer Netto back to the UK. The pair are launching a joint venture to open 15 Netto stores in the UK by the end of 2015.
Mining stocks edged higher with precious metal producers Fresnillo, Randgold and African Barrick Gold rising strongly after gold prices hit a two-month high yesterday.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,135.00p +10.62%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 898.50p +3.10%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,089.00p +2.25%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,628.00p +1.50%
Fresnillo (FRES) 847.50p +1.50%
G4S (GFS) 266.40p +1.49%
GKN (GKN) 371.90p +1.17%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 2,307.00p +1.14%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,786.00p +1.10%
TUI Travel (TT.) 389.70p +1.06%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BG Group (BG.) 1,242.50p -1.39%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 265.80p -1.37%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 492.70p -1.02%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,018.00p -0.97%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,545.00p -0.77%
BT Group (BT.A) 389.80p -0.69%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 76.92p -0.62%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 436.90p -0.59%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,222.00p -0.57%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 193.75p -0.56%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Rank Group (RNK) 166.40p +4.65%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 214.00p +4.59%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 235.70p +3.38%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 575.00p +3.32%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 327.70p +2.86%
Evraz (EVR) 92.85p +2.82%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 187.80p +2.62%
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 2,389.00p +2.58%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 2,025.00p +2.58%
BTG (BTG) 628.50p +2.53%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Renishaw (RSW) 1,638.00p -5.04%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 285.80p -3.61%
Northgate (NTG) 502.50p -3.18%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,323.00p -3.01%
Supergroup (SGP) 908.00p -2.31%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 537.50p -2.09%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 1,025.00p -1.82%
Xaar (XAR) 491.00p -1.80%
Countrywide (CWD) 532.00p -1.57%
ICAP (IAP) 371.30p -1.51%