U.K. stocks retreat as Shire leads drugmakers lower on deal risk

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(Oct 15): U.K. stocks fell as Shire Plc tumbled, weighing on the benchmark FTSE 100 Index.

Shire plunged 26 percent, the most in 12 years, after AbbVie Inc. said its board will consider scrapping its planned 32.4-billion-pound ($51.5 billion) acquisition of the U.K. drugmaker. Possible merger targets AstraZeneca Plc and Smith & Nephew Plc also slumped, falling more than 3 percent. EasyJet Plc led travel stocks higher.

The FTSE 100 Index slipped 61.97 points, or 1 percent, to 6,330.71 at 8:55 a.m. in London. The equity benchmark has rallied the past two days after reaching a one-year low on Oct. 10. The broader FTSE All-Share Index fell 0.7 percent and Ireland’s ISEQ Index added 0.5 percent today.