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March 28, 2018, 12:41 p.m. EDT

FTSE 100 scores win, shaking off tech sector worries as Shire rallies

Burberry, ABF ratings upgraded

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By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch


U.K. stocks pulled out a win Wednesday, as a surge in biopharma company Shire PLC on deal buzz helped the blue-chip market shake off downside pressure emanating from tech stocks worldwide.

How markets moved

The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.91% finished up by 0.6% at 7,044.74, led by utility shares, but commodity-related sectors led decliners. On Tuesday, it jumped 1.6% and ended a four-session losing streak.

But with one full trading session left in March, the blue-chip benchmark was still poised to fall 2.6% for the month, and has lost more than 8% this year.

See: Brace for more ‘poor’ action by U.K. stocks, says world’s largest asset manager

The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.1466% bought $1.4109, down from $1.4159 late Tuesday in New York.

What drove markets

The FTSE 100 staged a turnaround after falling as much as 1.1% during the session. That improvement came largely on the back of Shire shares  , which rallied as much as 26% after Japanese biopharma Takeda Pharmaceutical Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201302442/delayed JP:4502 +0.03%  said it’s considering making an offer for its rival. Shire shares closed up 15.6%, the strongest percentage gain since June 2014.

Ratings upgrades for Burberry Group PLC and a couple of other companies by large investment banks also helped move the benchmark into positive territory.

But U.K., European /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.70%  and Asian /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.10%   /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.16%  blue-chips had a rough start following the rout in tech stocks that led a sharp downturn on Wall Street on Tuesday and left the Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.59% down 2.9%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was in the red during Wednesday’s session.

Investors dumped tech sector shares, which have been at the forefront of Wall Street’s run higher for more than a year, on various regulatory concerns including for electric car maker Tesla Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +1.75%  , and news that the U.S. is considering a ban on Chinese investment in certain sensitive technologies.

By contrast, reports that the U.S. and China are conducting behind-the-scenes trade talks helped drive a surge in London-listed blue chips on Tuesday, as concerns about a global trade war abated.

Opinion: Who gets hurt in a trade war? Mostly not China

But the FTSE 100 appeared able to shake off tech worries faster than other markets as the tech sector has a weighting of just 0.62% on index, with only two components in the group, according to FactSet data.

+68.28 +0.91%
Volume: 634,653
Jan. 17, 2022 4:57p
US : Tullett Prebon
-0.0020 -0.1466%
Volume: 0.0000
Jan. 17, 2022 10:53p
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 3,381.00
+1.00 +0.03%
Volume: 1.83M
Jan. 18, 2022 12:34p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
¥5259.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
+3.35 +0.70%
Volume: 0.00
Jan. 17, 2022 11:03p
JP : Nikkei
+312.90 +1.10%
Volume: 0.00
Jan. 18, 2022 12:34p
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
+39.74 +0.16%
Volume: 662,576
Jan. 18, 2022 11:39a
US : Nasdaq
+86.94 +0.59%
Volume: 3.76M
Jan. 14, 2022 5:16p
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,049.61
+18.05 +1.75%
Volume: 24.31M
Jan. 14, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$1054.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
1 2
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