Mid morning wrapup

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<p>Oil giant <strong>BP </strong> saw its shares rise by two per cent this morning as its deal with Russian company<strong> Rosneft</strong> for arctic exploration boosted the stock.</p>

<p>Analysts said the tie-up with state-controlled Rosneft opened up massive reserves in the arctic, a region they said was believed to contain one fifth of the world's undiscovered oil. The BP agreement lifted the energy sector in general. </p>

<p>Other stocks showing some movement were those of medical equipment supplier<strong> Smith &amp; Nephew</strong>. It jumped 3.5 per cent
after a weekend report that <strong>Johnson &amp; Johnson</strong> was considering a fresh takeover approach worth at least 800 pence a share.</p>

<p>The <strong>FTSE 100</strong> dipped a little </font><font face="Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif"><font size="2">overall</font></font><font size="2">, but with US markets closed for a public holiday trading was light. </p>

<p>A meeting of<strong> euro zone finance ministers</strong> will be held today with the size of the bailout funds available to struggling economies - and the way they are distributed - on
the agenda. </p>

<p>The 16-nation group has indicated it will beef up the amounts available as the sovereign debt crisis continues to cast a shadow despite successful bond issues by Spain and Portugal last week.</p>

<p>The <strong>euro</strong> dropped ahead of the meeting, with dealers indicating that any rise in the currency would depend on the outcome of the talks in Brussels. </p>

<p>Meanwhile <strong>Asian shares</strong> mostly fell overnight, led by a drop in Shanghai in the wake of <strong>China's</strong> latest attempt to contain inflation. </p>

<p>New rules announced on reserves required by lenders have hit the Chinese banking sector.</p>

<p>In figures which help to provide a barometer for confidence in the UK property market <strong>Rightmove</strong> said a drop in the number of new homes coming onto the market had fuelled a rise in asking prices for the first time in three months. </p>

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