Market Report: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway swoops on Precision Castparts

A rebound from the miners also helped UK stocks higher

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The Independent Online

The Sage of Omaha cast a spell over shares in the UK’s aerospace engineers after making his biggest acquisition to date. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway swooped on aircraft parts supplier Precision Castparts in a £23.9bn deal that lifted Wall Street and helped the FTSE 100 rise 17.73 points to 6,736.22 after early losses. His spending spree helped Britain’s troubled aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce recover from its declines to finish up 2.66p at 806.66p. Rival BAE Systems rose 1.6p to 473.1p, Cobham was 3.4p higher at 287.6p, while aerospace parts engineer GKN rose 0.3p to 321.3p. Meggitt, which earlier bought Cobham’s design arm for $200m, put on 5p to end the day at 509.5p.

A rebound from the miners also helped UK stocks higher as weak data from China, the world’s largest importer of raw materials, sparked hopes of economic stimulus.

A US refinery shutdown injected life into the price of Brent crude, rescuing shares in the oil majors after a poor start. Royal Dutch Shell finished just 13p lower at 1,893p, while BP dipped only 0.1p to 385.5p.

Shire, up 80p at 5,380p, was boosted as industry experts suggested the FTSE 100 drugmaker might not be successful in its attempts to win over the US rare-diseases specialist Baxalta. The prospect of dilution from a proposed $30bn all-share deal put investors off the stock last week.

United Utilities slipped 0.5p to 887p after more than 300,000 households in Lancashire were warned that cryptosporidium, a microbial parasite, could remain in the water supply until at least Wednesday.

Carillion edged up 2p to 345p as the support services group won an outsourcing contract with the Government worth up to £4.1bn.

Meanwhile on the small-cap market, Fitbug plummeted 25 per cent – down 1p to 3p – as the fitness-tracking group raised £1.67m to bolster its balance sheet, with most of the funds raised through the issue of new shares at a cheap 2.5p. The AIM-listed company also revealed that Sainsbury’s had placed an order for more of its Orb fitness tracking devices, which are also stocked by Argos.

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