Market Report: AstraZeneca strengthen with purchase of asthma drug
Thursday 31 July 2014
AstraZeneca is trying to make good on its promise to investors that it’s better off alone.
The pharmaceutical giant rebuffed Pfizer’s £55 a share takeover offer two months ago, setting out a strategy for going it alone that many saw as over ambitious. Yesterday boss Pascal Soriot shrugged off doubts, strengthening the company’s pipeline with the $2.1bn (£1.2bn) purchase of an asthma drug developed by Spanish outfit Almirall.
There are rumours of another deal: Astra is said to be sniffing about German biotech outfit Evotec, with Johnson & Johnson also thought to be interested. Astra climbed 35p to 4,357.5p.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was once again on the back foot, retreating 34.31 points to 6,773.44. Most put the slump down to fears over Russia’s reaction to sanctions from the US and EU. Even better than expected US GDP numbers arriving in the afternoon failed to ease the gloom.
Results drove much of the day’s trading activity. Better than expected half-year figures from Barclays, up 9.3p to 228.4p, sparked a resurgence for banks, and lenders added 3.99 points to the index.
Despite rising copper production in the second quarter and steady full-year forecasts, Chilean miner Antofagasta slipped 39p to 816p, as falling metal prices led to rising costs.
Rio Tinto slipped 41p to 3,434p, after offloading assets in Mozambique at a huge loss: it paid $3.7bn for Riversdale Mining in 2011 but yesterday revealed it had sold on the company’s coking coal operations for just $50m.
Pets at Home shot up 12p to 182p on the mid-cap index after a solid set of results, while accessory specialist 4imprint leapt up 60.5p to 705p after what Espirito Santo Bank dubbed a “stunning” set of first half numbers.
AIM-listed Summit Corporation climbed 4.5p to 108p as chief executive Glyn Edwards spent £31,000 on shares. African iron and manganese producer Ferrex lost 0.32p to 1.1p – its project in Gabon has fallen through. Technology company Tern jumped 0.5p to 2.12p, as director Al Sisto advanced £100,000 to the company prior to converting it into new equity.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 3 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
- 5 Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...