* FTSE 100 up 0.4 percent
* Shire jumps after rejecting bid valuing it at $46 bln
* Traders expect FTSE to challenge 6,900-point level soon
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, June 20 Britain's FTSE 100 rose on
Friday on the back of a surge in the shares of drugmaker Shire,
and many traders expected the benchmark equity index to test
record highs soon.
Shire hit all-time highs and was up by 19 percent at
4,450 pence, adding 17 points to the FTSE, after rejecting a bid
from AbbVie Inc which would have valued the group at
about 27 billion pounds ($46 billion).
The FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent, or 28.06 points, at
6,836.17 at the end of the trading session neared.
Even though Shire rejected the bid, many traders expected
the company to stay in bidders' sights. The pharmaceuticals
sector is experiencing a wave of merger and acquisition (M&A)
activity, as highlighted by Pfizer's recent attempt to
"We've been quite bullish on pharma stocks due to the M&A
for quite some time. We haven't sold Shire after the spike
higher, we're just holding onto it," said Dafydd Davies, senior
trader at Prime Wealth Group.
Traders remained bullish on the FTSE 100, which is within
reach of a 6,950.60 record high set in 1999.
Although the FTSE 100 is only up by about 1 percent since
the start of 2014, many traders say the FTSE should rally more
if it can get past the 6,900 point level.
"Other stock markets such as the German DAX and U.S S&P have
broken new highs, and it must only be a matter of time before
the FTSE follows suit," said Novum Securities technical analyst
($1 = 0.5864 British pounds)
(Additional reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Louise