* FTSE 100 ends up 0.8 pct in volume 35 pct below average
* Shire up 0.7 pct on new AbbVie offer
* Sports Direct boosted by partnership with MySale
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, July 14 Britain's top equity index rose
for a second straight day in thin trade on Monday, helped by
rises in bid-target drugs firm Shire and retailer Sports
Shares in Shire hit a record high of 5,045 pence - before
paring back gains into the close - after its board said it was
ready to recommend a new offer from AbbVie.
The new bid - the fifth by AbbVie - values Shire at 31.3
billion pounds ($53.3 billion). Some traders saw the
announcement as opening the door to further bids, with AbbVie's
5,320-pence-per-share offer as a starting point.
"The board could have been minded to accept AbbVie's offer
as a floor, and as it has now established that it is willing to
sell the company (unlike AstraZeneca ), (it) is
effectively putting a for-sale sign in the window," a
London-based event-driven trader said.
AbbVie, which wants to buy Shire to cut its tax bill and
diversify its product line-up, raised its bid after the
Dublin-based company asked for an improvement on its previous
5,115 pence-per-share offer.
Other traders were more cautious on Shire's stock, which has
surged more than 40 percent in the past month. Galvan's head of
trading, Ed Woolfitt, sold half of each of his clients' exposure
"So we're banking something good on the bounce and leaving
the other half on just in case (it climbs to 53)," Woolfitt
Shire's shares closed up 0.7 percent at 4,903 pence on
volume that was four times higher than its full-day average for
the past three months. FTSE 100 volume was 35 percent lower than
the index's own average.
The FTSE 100 ended up 55.97 points, or 0.8 percent,
at 6,746.14 points after trading as high as 6,760.73 points. The
index dropped 2.6 percent last week to post its biggest weekly
drop since March as sentiment was hit by the threat of a banking
crisis in Portugal.
The FTSE trimmed its gains into the close, a pattern already
shown on Friday and which normally denotes faltering investor
confidence in future gains.
Helping keeping the FTSE buoyant was sports retailer Sports
Direct, up 3.6 percent after it announced plans to open
in Australia and New Zealand by forming a partnership with
Rolls-Royce also rose, tacking on 1.3 percent as
European planemaker Airbus kicked off the Farnborough
Airshow by confirming it would sell revamped versions of its
A330 wide-body jet powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines.
($1 = 0.5877 British pounds)
(Additional reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Sonya