* FTSE 100 ends up 0.3 pct at 6,728.37 pts
* Shire's ViroPharma deal seen marking renewed optimism
* BT rebounds as investors cheer football rights deal
* Broader market supported by global economic improvement
(Updates prices at settle)
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Nov 11 Britain's FTSE 100 rose
on Monday, boosted by signs of a strengthening global economy
and major deals for pharma group Shire and telecoms
Shire rose to an all-time high after beating
competitors to buy ViroPharma, in a $4.2 billion deal
implying a 64 percent premium to the stock price of the U.S.
rare diseases specialist, compared with before the bid
speculation started in September.
The hefty premium was seen as further evidence of a more
bullish attitude by global firms, such as Verizon's
buyout of Vodafone from their U.S. joint venture and
Twitter's initial public offering.
"Companies are looking at major acquisitions or initial
public offerings because the market is right where they can
generate some decent amount of money," Danny Cox, head of
financial planning at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
"There's the potential for some sort of Santa Rally as
people feel a bit more confident," Cox added referring to a FTSE
surge in the run up to Christmas.
He believes the FTSE could head towards its all-time highs
at 6,950 although he cautioned this level was unlikely to be
reached this side of New Year.
The FTSE 100 closed up 19.95 points, or 0.3 percent
higher, at 6,728.37 points, inching closer to a five-month high
of 6,819 hit last week.
The FTSE was extending an upward move started on Friday,
when much better-than-expected jobs data fuelled expectations
the world's largest economy was picking up the pace.
Since then Chinese data has shown stronger than expected
growth in factory output and solid growth in retail sales in the
world's second biggest economy.
General financial stocks, which are heavily
exposed to the health of global markets, rose 1.7 percent, with
asset managers Schroders and Aberdeen Asset Management
up 4.3 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
Yet some investors remained worried that the better U.S.
data would bring forward the time when the Federal Reserve
starts trimming its asset-purchase programme, which has driven
investors into equities in the past year.
The FTSE has rallied nearly 20 percent since this round of
quantitative easing (QE) was announced in September 2012. The
Fed is expected to start reducing bond purchases in early 2014.
The rally has defied falling earnings estimates, leaving the
FTSE trading at 12.5 times its expected earnings for the next 12
months, its highest valuation multiples since early 2010,
Datastream data showed.
"The focus is going to be firmly on the U.S. QE tapering and
the market is going to struggle to rally with that uncertainty,"
said Trevor Green, head of institutional equities at Aviva
Investors, who manages assets worth 2.5 billion pounds.
Green has started on take profit on some of his most
successful holdings such as airline easyJet, which has
rallied nearly 60 percent this year.
BT BEATS SKY
BT helped the FTSE rise after it beat dominant pay-TV
operator BSkyB to Champions League football rights in a
900 million pounds ($1.4 billion) deal.
Shares in BSkyB fell 10.9 percent in their worst daily
performance since 2008, in volume nearly six times the average
after the group's first major defeat in a rights auction.
BT's stock rose 0.5 percent to 372 pence, after trading as
low as 362 pence in early deals as investors fretted about the
price paid for the rights. Most analysts' reactions to the deal,
however, have been positive for BT. [ID:nWLB005O4
"BT have come out with this deal today and, even by doing
this, managed to keep their existing guidance so that's
positive," said Green of Aviva, who owns BT shares in one of his
"It could be up to three years before one can say definitely
the price they paid was justified. It's what we expected and
we're comfortable with it."
Curbing gains on the FTSE was insurer RSA, which
slumped 10.5 percent in volume nearly ten times the average
after it suspended three senior executives at its Irish unit and
commissioned a review of its reporting processes and controls.
(Additional reporting by Toni Vorobyova; Editing by Ruth