BRITAIN’S top share index yesterday plummeted to a 15-month low, with cyclical stocks such as commodities and banks falling on fears of weakening global growth and drugmakers slipping on AbbVie’s decision to reconsider its $55bn (£34.5bn) takeover of British rival Shire.
The FTSE 100 ended 181.04 points, or 2.8 per cent lower at 6,211.64, the biggest one-day percentage decline in 16 months and the lowest level since the middle of 2013.
US group AbbVie said it was reconsidering its bid for Shire because of plans by the US government to clamp down on so-called tax inversion.
Shire shares were down 21.54 per cent to 4,033p, while Astrazeneca, which has been the subject of several failed bids by Viagra-maker Pfizer – is down 3.22 per cent to 4,264.50p. Smith & Nephew, also seen as a possible US target, fell 5.29 per cent to 922.50p.
Among the miners, Rio Tinto was down 2.88 per cent to 3,072.50p, and Fresnillo rose 0.44 per cent to 794p after they issued production updates.
Connect Group reported a solid trading performance for the year to end-August with pre-tax profits of £50m, up 0.2 per cent.
It has also launched a click and collect service with online retail giant Amazon. Connect’s shares rose 18.84 per cent to 164p.
Motive Television said JV, Tablet Television – in which it has a 50 per cent share – was launching its marketing campaign in San Francisco, which will run through October and November supporting a product launch in time for Christmas 2014. Its shares rose 7.55 per cent to 0.01p.
CSR stunned the market by announcing an agreed 900p-a-share takeover by US peer Qualcomm. CSR had been in possible merger talks with another US semiconductors manufacturer, Microchip Technology, and it shares jumped 29.2 per cent to 855.50p, implying the deal was already clinched.
Roxi Petroleum fell 27.27 per cent to 13p as the market expressed frustration at a lack of progress on its BNG asset. It was only just about to commence a flow test on the discovery to determine commerciality. To date, pressure issues mean oil has only flowed for short periods.
Other sharp individual movers included Royal Mail, which rose 1.88 per cent to 407.40p, the top FTSE 100 gainer, after saying it was selling one of its old central London mail centres to a hotel and real estate company for £111m in cash.