UK pharma down on bids possibilities

Londona��s equities markets were mixed on Thursday as the FTSE 100 dropped 0.6 percent to 6,048.9 but the FTSE 250 added 0.1 percent to 10,673.9.

Miners were mostly up on the session, the exception being Anglo American, which dropped 0.25 percent to A?23.62. Rio Tinto added 0.8 percent to A?27.15, while Xstrata and BHP Billiton gained 1.1 percent each, to A?22.80 and 965p respectively. Analysts at Citigroup issued remarks saying that Billiton should divest itself of its petroleum unit and that Rio Tinto should get rid of its Industrial Minerals division in order to kick-start performance.

The pharmaceuticals sector saw declines. GlaxoSmithKline dropped 1.4 percent to A?13.51, while AstraZeneca fell 1.9 percent to A?29.50 and Shire was 2.1 percent lower to A?10.19. There has been talk lately that GlaxoSmithKline might be interested in AstraZeneca, but some analysts believe that AstraZeneca is more likely to be a bidder, possibly for Shire, than a target of bids.

Building materials group Hanson added 0.5 percent to 729p on rumors that Mexicoa��s Cemex could be interested in bidding, especially after its bid for an Australian company was rejected earlier in the week. Meanwhile in the leisure sector, casino operator Rank was 2 percent higher to 278p on rumors that it could be a target for bidders.


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