March 28, 2018 / 9:45 AM / in 4 months

UK's FTSE drops on U.S. tech woes; Shire soars

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* FTSE index down 1 pct

* Fifth daily drop in six sessions

* Mining, energy stocks fall

* Shire soars on Takeda possible takeover bid

* Unilever, Capita move higher

By Tom Pfeiffer

LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE index resumed its downward march on Wednesday as negative newsflow around the U.S. tech giants and lingering fears of a trade war fuelled concern over valuations across global equities.

Shire Plc soared 23 percent after Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co said it was considering a possible offer for the British drugmaker.

Tech stocks were among the best performers in the bull market and are now under pressure amid signs that regulators could rein in the sector following years of strong growth and privacy concerns around Facebook and Google.

Facebook shares are now down 15 percent this month. Twitter shares tumbled overnight after short-seller Citron Research called the stock “most vulnerable” to privacy regulations.

“Everyone wants to know how far this tech sell-off has to go and how much it affects everyone else,” said IG’s Chris Beauchamp. “People can cope with a modest sell-off but when you get to these proportions and it hits the strongest performers so hard ... it sends the signal that others can be vulnerable too.”

The FTSE 100 index was down 1 percent at 6,929.3 points, bringing its decline so far this year to almost 10 percent. Mining and energy stocks were among the biggest fallers as continued global trade tensions hit the value of key metals such as copper and a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories sent Brent crude futures back below $70 a barrel.

A clutch of other stocks managed to carve out gains against the negative market backdrop.

Unilever was also among top FTSE gainers, rising 1.4 percent after UBS upgraded the consumer goods giant to “buy” on expectations of improving volume growth and operating margin expansion.

Capita rose 0.7 percent after a person familiar with the matter said the outsourcing firm would publish a five-year transformation plan and details of a rights issue with its annual results on April 26. (Editing by Keith Weir)

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