UK shares lifted by takeover news

Traders in London Image copyright AFP

(Close): A flurry of takeover activity helped to push the mid-cap FTSE 250 index to a record.

Shares in energy services group Amec Foster Wheeler jumped by more than 12% after the company said it had agreed to be bought by rival Wood Group.

Also in the FTSE 250, Bovis Homes rose almost 10% to 910.50p after it said it had received two takeover approaches.

That helped boost the FTSE 250 index, which added almost 0.4% to close at a record 19,029.

Dominos Pizza was one of the biggest losers on that index, with a 4.3% slide, after analysts at Citigroup cut their rating of the shares, blaming rising food prices and fierce competition.

Bovis bid

Over the weekend, Bovis said it had turned down separate offers from Redrow and Galliford Try, but that it was continuing talks with the latter.

"There is a strong chance that one will succeed and that should support the stock," said Neil Wilson from ETX Capital.

"But Bovis should hold out for a better premium. Joint brokers Deutsche Bank and Jeffries have price targets of 969p and 886p respectively. A successful bid might need to at least split the difference to satisfy the board."

Gold star

The benchmark FTSE 100 closed 24 points higher at 7,367, with mining shares helping to pull the index higher after the price of copper and gold rose.

Precious metals miner Fresnillo was the top riser in the FTSE 100, up 5.6%, while Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta also saw strong gains.

On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.5% against the dollar to $1.2227, and was also 0.6% higher against the euro at 1.1480 euros.