UK shares were pretty much unchanged, after the FTSE 100 Index dropped to a three-week low last week, as fall in stocks of British American Tobacco Plc overshadowed gains in HSBC Holdings.
BAT dropped 0.8%. GlaxoSmithKline Plc soared 1% after the Financial Times reported private-equity companies injected $10 billion into the purchase of older brands from the pharmaceutical and Sanofi. Balfour Beatty Plc advanced 1.8% as Sunday Telegraph announced four suitors are competing to take over the company’s Parsons Brinckerhoff.
The FTSE 100 lost 1.66 points, a less than 0.1% loss, to 6,677.52 as trading closed in London, after surging as high as 0.5%. The index tumbled 1.7% last week in the wake of crises in Ukraine, Argentina and Portugal. The broader FTSE All-Share Index reversed 0.1%. ISEQ Index of Ireland plunged 0.3%, Bloomberg reported.
BAT lost to 3,417.5 pence, the lowest price since May 9. Based in London, the firm slid for the last four days, after it reported on July 30 that earnings for the first half dropped 9%, affected by a stable pound and lower cigarette demand.
Balfour Beatty increased 1.8% to 244 pence. WS Atkins Plc, a UK based engineering company and WSP Global Inc of Canada are rivaling to take over the Parsons Division, which according to Sunday Telegraph is valued at $1 billion.
HSBC stock added 2% to lead growth in the FTSE 100 Index. The company’s net profit for the first half declined to $9.46 billion, from $10 billion the same period in 2013, as business in investment banking and several of its core Asian markets slowed. Underlying revenue plunged 4% to $31.36 billion.
“Respectable in a broader industry context, partially reflecting HSBC’s better positioned geographic/product as well as FX support,” Investec is quoted by MarketWatch as noting about HSBC’s worldwide banking and markets 10% quarter-over-quarter revenue decline in the second quarter.
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