U. K. Shares pulled a profit on Wednesday, as a surge in biopharmaceutical company Shire PLC on Deal Buzz helped shake off the blue-chip market to shake off pressure from tech stocks worldwide.
How the Markets Moved
The FTSE 100 Index
UKX, + 1.62%
rose 0.6% to 7,044.74, led by Utilities, but commodity-related sectors led to negative gains. On Tuesday it jumped 1.6% and ended a losing streak in four sessions.
However, after a full trading session in March, the blue-chip benchmark still stood at 2.6% for the month, losing more than 8% this year.
See: Brace for "poorer" action by UK stocks, says the world's largest asset manager
bought $ 1.4109, down from $ 1.4159 late Tuesday in New York.
Driving the Markets
The FTSE 100 has reversed after falling as much as 1.1% during the session. This improvement was mainly due to the shares of Shire
SHP, + 3.44%
SHPG, + 14.02%
which according to the Japanese biopharma Takeda Pharmaceutical Corp. increased by 26%.
4502, + 1.62%
said they are considering a bid for their rival. Shire shares closed 15.6%, the largest percentage increase since June 2014.
The rating upgrades of Burberry Group PLC and several other companies by large investment banks also helped push the benchmark into positive territory.
But UK, European
SXXP, + 1.21%
NIK, + 2.65%
HSI, + 0.79%
The blue chips suffered after the slump in technology stocks, which suffered a sharp downturn on Wall Street on Tuesday, a tough start to the Nasdaq Composite Index
by 2.9%. The tech-savvy Nasdaq was in the red during Wednesday's session.
Investors have dismissed the tech sector's shares, which have been at the top of the Wall Street course for more than a year, due to various regulatory concerns, including electric car maker Tesla Inc.
and news that the US is considering a ban on Chinese investment in certain sensitive technologies.
But the FTSE 100 seemed to shake off tech worries faster than other markets, as the tech sector, according to FactSet data, only weighted 0.62% on the index with only two components in the group.
What Strategists Say
"Markets remain volatile as another sharp decline in Wall Street technology stocks lowers stock prices and spills asset classes," said Richard Perry, market analyst at Hantech Markets.
He noted that the US 10-year Treasury yield
TMUBMUSD10Y, + 0.33%
was pulled 2.79% below an important short-term minimum.
"All this noise may be distracting for traders, but the medium-term correction trends in equities and longer-term bearish movements in the dollar are continuing.French fears about a trade war are still there, and while this is going on, it will be a negative trend Markets, "Perry said in a note. […] The integration of Baxalta Shires has a clear impact on prospects Englisch: bio-pro.de/en/region/stern/magazin/…1/index.html The arm, the deep – rooted concerns about generic competition and the Net debt persists, "said Richard Hunter, director of markets at Interactive Investor, in a note.
"Nonetheless, there are a number of elements that should provide some comfort, Shire has 15 programs in the late stages of development, product sales are strong – whether Baxalta's contribution or not – and several short-term launches are planned "Hunter said.
ULVR, + 1.14%
jumped 4.7% after UBS revalued the consumer staples heavyweight to buy from the neutral range and a decline of around 17% since October "as a compelling entry point" for investors.
BRBY, + 1.01%
gained 1.7% after the rating of the luxury goods maker at Goldman Sachs was bought by Neutral. Burberry is well positioned to take advantage of a new "e-concession". Distribution channel focused on online marketplaces and third-party multi-brand platforms.
Associated British Foods PLC
ABF, + 1.38%
which also includes fast-fashion retailer Primark, closed 3.3%. Morgan Stanley over-weighted its rating in a sell-off of ABF shares in recent months.
oil producer BP PLC
BP., + 1.25%
and Royal Dutch Shell PLC
RDSB, + 2.28%
fell by 0.8% and 1% respectively as oil prices
Among the technicians, shares of software maker Sage Group PLC
SGE, + 1.51%
fell 0.8%, but the software maker Micro Focus International PLC
MCRO, + 2.79%
BT.A, + 1.78%
ended at 1.6%. Stocks were earlier lower after Ofcom, the UK's telecommunications regulator, confirmed new rules to encourage investment in full-spectrum broadband networks. But it set a higher cap than before for the amount that BT charges its competitors for using its fast broadband service.
UK retail sales declined in March as snowy weather and brutally cold temperatures caused the first drop in sales since October, UK industry association said Wednesday. CBI retail sales reached minus 8 in the year to March as 40% of retailers surveyed said sales volumes were declining, while 32% said they had risen.
"With many working from home, telecom companies saw record internet traffic, but online shopping slowed down in the face of potential delivery disruptions," said Ben Jones, CBI's main economist.