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UPDATE 2-Best week in 3 months for UK mid-caps as Aggreko jumps on buyout offer

Published Feb 05, 2021 10:21 Updated Feb 05, 2021 18:12
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* Aggreko tops mid-caps
* Insurer Beazley up after reassuring on 2021 profitability
* Retailer French Connection surges on takeover talks
* FTSE 100 down 0.2%, FTSE 250 adds 1.2%

(Updates to market close)
By Shivani Kumaresan
Feb 5 (Reuters) - British mid-caps rose on Friday, scoring
their best week since November, as power equipment supplier
Aggreko Plc AGGK.L soared following a buyout proposal and
faster vaccine rollouts supported hopes for a brisk economic
revival.
Aggreko AGGK.L surged 32.9% after saying it was in talks
over a possible 2.25 billion pound ($3.09 billion) buyout by
private equity groups TDR Capital LLP and I Squared Capital.
The mid-cap index .FTMC rose 1.2% and the blue-chip FTSE
100 index .FTSE fell 0.2%, with Unilever Plc ULVR.L and
AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) Plc AZN.L the biggest drags on the latter.
Progress in vaccine distribution and expectations of a large
stimulus by U.S. President Joe Biden's administration helped
global markets trade near their record highs and led to the FTSE
100 gaining 1.3% this week. MKTS/GLOB
"I think for UK the problem in vaccines is that even if we
are in the clear by May, we might still have essentially closed
borders, which will be a big weight to growth," said Neil
Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.
"So Europe's vaccine problems could become our problem too.
This has implications for equities."
AstraZeneca AZN.L and Oxford University's COVID-19 vaccine
has similar efficacy against the British coronavirus variant as
it does to the previously circulating variants, the university
said. The UK stock market has tracked a global rally following the
coronavirus-led crash last March, but lagged European and U.S.
peers on fears of a long road to pre-pandemic levels of economic
growth.
British house prices fell last month for the first time
since May as a boom in activity late last year started to lose
steam, mortgage lender Halifax said. In company news, shares in Beazley BEZG.L jumped 14.9%
after the insurer said it was confident of returning to
profitability and bringing back its dividend during the course
of this year. Shares of French Connection FCCN.L soared 66.1% after the
British fashion retailer said was is in takeover talks with two
possible suitors.

UPDATE 2-Best week in 3 months for UK mid-caps as Aggreko jumps on buyout offer
 

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