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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
January 23, 2007

UK oil sector gains on bids rumors


by Elaine Frei

Equities markets were mixed in London on Tuesday. The FTSE 100 added 0.6 percent to 6,227.6, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.6 percent to 11,102.2.

Oil companies were higher on takeover rumors, as it was said that either Royal Dutch Shell or BP could be interested in bidding on BG Group. Shell added 0.6 percent to £17.18, while BP gained 0.7 percent to 545p and BG Group was 1.7 percent higher to 662½p.

Supermarkets were also higher on the session. Wm Morrison was up 0.1 percent to 284p on positive comments from Deutsche Bank, which reconfirmed its “buy” recommendation and target share price of 320p. Elsewhere in the sector, Tesco gained 0.3 percent to 415¼p, while J Sainsbury added 0.8 percent to 438p on talk that private equity has approached with a bid.

In other retail news, magazine and bookseller WH Smith gained 5.6 percent after it issued a positive trading statement.

Among makers of medical devices, Smith & Nephew was 2.3 percent higher to 566¾p after it announced a special dividend and held out the possibility of more cost cutting measures. Goldman Sachs said that the company, thought to be a possible bid target from private equity, would forestall such a bid. Elsewhere in the sector, Gyrus added 1.1 percent to 406¾p.

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