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Monday 29th of June 2009
June 14, 2006

Weak oil sector takes FTSE 100 lower


by Elaine Frei

London equities markets were mixed on Wednesday. The FTSE 100 dropped 0.2 percent to 5,506.8, mostly on declines in the oil sector, while the FTSE 250 added 0.7 percent to 8,782.2. 3.3 billion shares were traded on the day.

Homebuilders were mixed on bids rumors. Crest Nicholson was up 3.6 percent to 505p on speculation that one of its rivals would purchase the 23.4 percent of its shares now held by Heron International. Bovis Homes was the most mentioned possible buyer, sending its shares 2.2 percent lower to 779½p. However, some analysts see either George Wimpey or Barratt Developments as more likely bidders for the shares. Wimpey added 2.7 percent on the day to 428½p, while Barratt gained 1.1 percent to 868p.

In the banking sector, Lloyds TSB added 2.4 percent to 515p on an upgrade to “overweight” and an increase to 611p in its target share price by Morgan Stanley.

Bid rumors in the pharmaceuticals sector sent AstraZeneca 2. 5 percent higher to £30.16 on a revival of talk that Novartis will make an offer. The feeling of some analysts is that these rumors have gained new currency due to the bidding war over German drug maker Schering.

In the oil sector, BP lost 1.3 percent to 586p. Royal Dutch Shell declined by 1.8 percent to £17.35, while BG Group was down 3.3 percent to 635p. Meanwhile, Tullow Oil dropped 2.3 percent to 300¾p even though rumor had it that Royal Dutch Shell might be planning a bid.

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