Investors gave the thumbs up to BP’s £10 billion deal with Russia’s Rosneft while takeover talk also spurred on fellow blue chip stocks.
BP rose more than 2% after Friday’s announcement of an Arctic exploration alliance and share swap with Russian government-owned Rosneft after markets closed.
The wider FTSE 100 Index edged into positive territory, up 3.5 points to 6005.5, as takeover hopes boosted technology firm Smiths Group and medical devices group Smith & Nephew.
Reports of opposition to BP’s deal from its partners in the Russian TNK-BP joint venture failed to hold back share gains for the oil giant, up 8.4p to 507.9p. It will take a 9.5% stake in Rosneft while Rosneft will own 5% of BP following the deal, which the UK Government described as “groundbreaking”.
Smiths group headed up the risers board with a 11% surge, ahead 144p to 1426p, following Friday’s after-close announcement that the firm had rejected a £2.45 billion cash approach for its medical arm.
Smith & Nephew followed it with a further 5% gain, up 37.5p to 722.5p after weekend reports that US suitor Johnson & Johnson is preparing to make a formal offer for the group worth £7 billion.