FTSE Gains in Spite of RSA Troubles

Tue, 22nd Sep 2015

The FTSE 100 got off to a good start on Monday thanks to a recovery on Wall Street after a difficult Friday which saw investors express their concerns over the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates low.

The ECB’s move left investors worried about the state of the world’s economy, but those fears appear to be easing as the FTSE 100 made some modest gains, closing up by 4.6 points, thanks to some takeover speculation in the markets.

The medical equipment group Smith and Nephew gained 21p, or around two percent, to close at £11.65 thanks to some renewed talk of a bid by U.S peer Jonson and Johnson. Traders speculated that there could be a £16 per share offer for the company. However, Smith & Nephew is also thought to be a target for a takeover from Stryker, another US company, and discussions have supposedly been going on for a while.

Wolseley, the building materials group, was another potential takeover target, gaining 87p to close at £42.23, after a positive note was issued from Credit Suisse. In the smaller markets, Lifeline Scientific, which is listed on AIM, gained 8 percent after it said that it was planning to conduct a strategic review.

However, these gains were offset by the news that Zurich had backed out of a potential takeover of RSA Insurance. This led to the company shedding 106.2p, down to 403.3p. Another company to post losses was Standard Chartered, who shed 20.6p after concerns surfaced about its operations in Iran.

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