Pharmas cure the FTSE after Compass loses its bearings - London Report

BRITAIN’S top share index advanced yesterday, with Hikma Pharmaceuticals lead­ing the market higher on positive broker comments.

The blue chip FTSE 100 index closed 1.2 per cent higher at 6,631.00 points after rising 0.8 per cent in the previous session, when it ended a five-day losing streak.

Hikma shares were the biggest gainers after a target price update from Jefferies, adding 3.7 per cent to an 11.6 per cent jump on Tuesday, when it announced a deal to buy Boehringer Ingelheim’s US. generic drugs business Roxane for about $2.65bn (£1.7bn) in cash and stock.

GlaxoSmithKline gained 3.5 per cent after flagging up dozens of new drugs and vaccines in development as demand for new HIV medicines helped it to beat quarterly profit forecasts.

Barclays shares were up nearly two per cent after the bank, which reported a 12 per cent rise in profit, said it intended to accelerate the sale of assets and cost cutting.

On the downside, Compass Group, the world’s biggest catering firm, fell 5.3 per cent after saying operating profit this year and next would be hit by restructuring costs.