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FTSE falls as Russian troops move near Ukraine
‘Particularly with progress made in the company’s broad immune-mediated cancer therapies portfolio, we expect the market to be forgiving of the slight miss in numbers,’ said Panmure Gordon analyst Savvas Neophytou.
However, the group did not comment on reports US rival Pfizer had approached it with a tentative £60 billion takeover bid. The stock is now more than 13% higher since the report first appeared in the Sunday Times.
Anglo American (AAL.L) was another big riser, adding 45p, or 2.9% to hit £15.92, as the miner reported an 18% rise in cooper output, and a 10% rise for iron ore, in the first quarter. Analysts at Investec have retained the stock as a ‘hold’ on the news. ‘Overall the numbers appeared slightly below our expectations but not worryingly so and unlikely to change,’ they said.
Unilever (ULVR.L) was the biggest faller, dropping 49p, or 1.9%, to £25.84, despite reporting first quarter performance in line with the market’s expectation. Chief executive Paul Polman’s comments that emerging markets were ‘currently passing through a period of slower demand and economic volatility’ have dampened sentiment.
Associated British Foods (ABF.L) meanwhile pared some of its big gains from yesterday, falling 37p, or 1.3%, to reach £29.27. ABF was Wednesday’s standout performer after announcing the expansion of its Primark clothing stores into the US.
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