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UK pharma sector lower after US elections


by Elaine Frei
November 10, 2006

The FTSE 100 dropped 0.37 percent on Friday to end the week at 6,208.4 in a week where at least some stocks in the UK were affected by the elections in the United States on Tuesday.

The pharmaceuticals sector declined in the wake of the Democratic takeover of both houses of Congress on the concern that drug prices could be affected by legislation promised by House speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi to allow direct governmental negotiation of drug prices for recipients of Medicare. GlaxoSmithKline dropped 1.8 percent to £13.61, while AstraZeneca was 2.8 percent lower to £30.03.

Utilities were lower on speculation about takeovers in the sector after Scottish Power said that it had been approached by Spain’s Iberdrola. International Power dropped 1.6 percent to 338¼p, while Severn Trent was 1.7 percent lower to £14.03.

Among the mid-caps, homebuilder Crest Nicholson was 8.9 percent higher to 622½p after it rejected an offer from a group that included the Bank of Scotland.

Miners were higher on positive broker comments and bids rumors. Anglo American added 2.8 percent to £25.56 after one of the richest men in China bought a 1.1 percent stake in the miner, raising speculation that there could be a bid for the company out of China. Lonmin added 8.6 percent to £33.55 after Morgan Stanley raised its target share price to £40.



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