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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific