The FTSE ended the day at its highest level since early 2020
Unilever shares dipped 7% as GlaxoSmithKline rose 4.1%
Energy giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell among top gainers
UK’s FTSE 100 closed higher on Monday as shares of energy majors and healthcare firm GlaxoSmithKline edged higher.
The index ended 68.28 points or 0.91% higher at 7,611.23 to hit its highest close in almost two years. The upside for the blue-chip UK index followed gains across the European market, largely buoyed by a rally in Asia following China’s economic data release.
The FTSE 100 was also supported by a potential deal between Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline, which could be in excess of 50 billion pounds.
Unilever shares drag
Unilever was one of the worst performers on Monday, with consumer goods giant’s shares falling 7% in intraday deals. The drawdown followed news that the Dove soap maker was interested in acquiring the healthcare arm of GlaxoSmithKline.
The company’s shares were already in the red year-to-date and Monday’s rot pulled it nearly -14% over the past year.
Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline rose 4% on the Unilever news, with the market likely to edge higher given talk of a fresh higher bid. Reckitt Benckiser shares jumped 3.2%.
Oil prices near 3-year highs
Elsewhere in the market, oil prices rose to continue the weekly gains so far seen in 2022. Brent crude edged above $86 a barrel, putting the prices near the highs seen in October when it rose to $86.72.
The positive move for crude saw share prices of BP and Royal Dutch surge by 1.54% and 1.36% respectively.
Gold and silver prices also edged higher. Spot gold held above $1,819 an ounce after seeing a minor dip early in the day, while Silver rose 0.5% to $23.04 per ounce.