Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has cemented its position as the largest company on the London Stock Exchange as its shares have reached record highs.
The Kovid vaccine maker rose 2 percent, or 206p, to 10,668p after signing a deal to buy the rights to tumor-fighting antibodies from Chinese group Harbor Biomed. The company will pay about £ 19m in advance for the right to develop and commercialize the treatment, although the milestone payment could mean as much as চুক্ত 270m.
AstraZeneca’s share price has risen to £ 165 billion – confirming its position as the most valuable company in the FTSE100.
Shot in the arm: AstraZeneca’s share price rises to মূল্য 165 billion – confirming its position as the most valuable company in the FTSE100.
Nearby was Shell, whose shares fell 2.1 percent, or 45.5p, to 20,86p when it revealed it would spend up to £ 3.8 billion in the first quarter of the year to withdraw from Russia. That leaves the oil major valued at £ 157 billion higher than HSBC, whose shares fell 0.5 percent or 2.8p to 521.4p, giving it a value of 5 105 billion. The other top five were Diageo (0.4 percent, or 17p, to 3994p), valued at £ 92bn, and Unilever (0.2 percent, or 5.5p, to 3503p) valued at £ 90bn.
AstraZeneca has risen 22 percent this year and the latest rise comes as global investors seek ‘protective’ stocks, which are seen as more resilient to economic losses from the war in Ukraine and rising interest rates – especially in the United States.
On Wednesday night, the Federal Reserve, America’s strongest central bank, warned that the rate hike could come as fast and rapid this year as it continues its fight against inflation, which is at a 40-year high in the United States.
There are concerns that the Fed plans to scale stimulus measures so fast that it could push the world’s largest economy into recession.
Hargreaves Lansdowne analyst Susannah Streeter warns that the Fed could put the US economy at risk of “rapid evaporation” if rates are raised too much.
He said: “Another frustrating feeling is plaguing the financial markets, investors are wary as they see the effects of the era of super-cheap money coming to an end more quickly. “American consumers have expectations and businesses can withstand rapid growth, but it depends on how high they go.”
With the new sanctions against Russia weighing on market sentiment, the FTSE 100 fell 0.5 percent or 35.89 points to 7,551.81, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.3 percent or 62.93 points to 21,037.8.
Futsy’s fortunes have not been helped by a number of companies carrying ‘ex-dividends’ – the stock that an investor buys at the moment is not eligible to pay the next dividend. Among the losses were insurance group Aviva (4.9 percent at 422.4p, or 21.8p, 422.4p), fund manager Abordon (0.3 percent, or 0.7p, at 203p) and packaging firm Mondi (2.4 percent less, or 34.5). At 1426p).
In the second tier, car parts maker TI Fluid Systems fell 9.9 percent, or 18p, to 163.2p, while analysts at Jefferies downgraded the stock from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’ and lowered the target price from 350p to 195p. They warned that 2022 would be “another extremely challenging year” for the company amid major disruptions in the supply chain.
They expressed concern about the company’s ability to bear the rising cost of raw materials for customers, and said that growth expectations from electrification could be ‘too high’.
Workspace jumped 3.2 percent, or 22p, to 705.5p as its office space returned to pre-epidemic levels, rising 3 percent in the three months to the end of March to about 90 percent. The firm also noted an improvement in its rental price, which rose 1.3 percent to £ 36.39 per square foot in the quarter.
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