Market Report: Hopes the collapse of Pfizer's takeover bid would leave AstraZeneca open to a counter-offer are wide of the mark

Speculators hoping AstraZeneca might still be in play after Pfizer's abortive bid might want to reconsider.

The pharmaceutical giant revealed that boss Pascal Soriot bought £2m worth of shares in Astra on Monday, implying no takeover talks are happening.

Many had hoped that the collapse of Pfizer's takeover bid would leave Astra open to a counter-offer or provoke a defensive merger to prevent a second approach. No such luck it seems. Gamblers can still hold out hope that Pfizer might return after its six-month cooling-off period ends. Astra added 29p to 4369.5p.

Punters were talking up Vodafone, 1.05p better at 196.05p, with a rumour circulating that it could be interested in French telecoms major Orange. The rationale discussed is that it would give Voda access to EE, a joint venture between Orange and Deutsche Telekom, and take some cash off Voda's balance sheet. A merger between Deustche and Orange is also seen as a possibility.

Chinese manufacturers supported the FTSE 100, as growth in the sector spurred miners higher. Anglo American was 57p better at 1487p, Rio Tinto added 94p to 3202.5p and BHP Billiton climbed 55p to 1944.5p.

The bluechip index closed 58.98 points higher at 6802.92, breaking the 6800 mark again after a lull.

AO World rebounded 12.5p to 270p on the mid-cap index, as the online white goods retailer recovered from a painful sell note issued by Shore Capital earlier in the week.

Surveyor and construction management specialist Sweett Group is facing investigation in both the UK and US into corruption in the Middle East, but that hasn't dampened performance. The company revealed a 59 per cent jump in pre-tax profit to £2.8m in the year to March, helping Sweett climb 1.5p to 39.5p.

AIM-listed Cyan Holdings leapt 0.075p to 0.37p after the energy monitoring technology maker signed its second smart meter deal in India in two weeks.

Music streaming and online radio specialist 7Digital collapsed 2.75p to 15.5p on news that BlackBerry is closing its mobile download store. The company said the move would not affect forecasts.

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Data Analyst/Planning and Performance – Surrey – Up to £35k

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?