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Sept. 11, 2019, 8:59 a.m. EDT

LSE bid helps lift U.K. stocks

Hong Kong exchange bids for LSE, conditional on London exchange abandoning merger with Refinitiv

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By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch


Getty Images
A reception desk at London Stock Exchange

The surprise unsolicited bid for the London Stock Exchange helped boost U.K. stocks on Thursday.

Shares of the LSE /zigman2/quotes/206625606/delayed UK:LSE -1.23%  rallied 5% to 7168 pence as Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing published details of its nearly 30 billion pound cash and stock offer.

Still that rise was well short of the 8361 pence a share the Hong Kong exchange said it was willing to pay. The LSE didn’t dismiss it outright but called the bid “unsolicited, preliminary and highly conditional” and that it remained committed to its own deal, buying Refinitiv, that the Hong Kong exchange wants to halt.

“The proposal is a fascinating prospect, but far from a done deal. The fact that the LSE share price has already retreated from the initial 10% spike on release of the news may reflect some initial scepticism around the likelihood of the deal going through,” said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.

U.K. stocks generally were well bid after China relaxed tariffs on U.S. products, helping to buoy sentiment for global stocks.

The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.03%  rose 1% to 7339.04.

Other gainers included engine maker Rolls Royce /zigman2/quotes/203646520/delayed UK:RR -0.82%  , which rose over 4%, as did builder Persimmon /zigman2/quotes/206444744/delayed UK:PSN +4.02%  .

/zigman2/quotes/206625606/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
7,208.00 p
-90.00 -1.23%
Volume: 584,638
Oct. 15, 2019 4:35p
P/E Ratio
53.09
Dividend Yield
0.88%
Market Cap
£25.48 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,211.64
-1.81 -0.03%
Volume: 1.11M
Oct. 15, 2019 4:58p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203646520/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
746.20 p
-6.20 -0.82%
Volume: 6.40M
Oct. 15, 2019 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
£14.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206444744/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
2,380.00 p
+92.00 +4.02%
Volume: 3.66M
Oct. 15, 2019 4:35p
P/E Ratio
8.58
Dividend Yield
9.87%
Market Cap
£7.28 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch markets editor for Europe. Follow him on Twitter: @MKTWgoldstein.

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