UPDATE 1-Britain's FTSE dips after Syria strike; WPP falls on Sorrel exit


Warning: This material has been prepared by a third party company, Reuters, which is independent of Davy. Davy has not reviewed the material and accepts no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for the information or opinions contained therein. It does not constitute investment advice.

    * FTSE 100 down 0.9 pct at close
    * WPP retreats after CEO quits  
    * Whitbread jumps after hedge fund builds stake
    * Energy stocks weigh as oil prices retreat 

 (Updates with closing prices, adds detail and quote)
    By Julien Ponthus and Kit Rees
    LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - UK shares eased on Monday
morning, with two corporate events taking centre stage: CEO
Martin Sorrell's exit from advertising company WPP and U.S.
hedge fund Elliott Management raising its stake in hotel and
coffee-shop operator Whitbread.
    The blue chip FTSE 100 index  .FTSE  ended the session down
0.9 percent at 7,198.20 points, with traders across Europe
remaining cautious, fearing that the weekend's missile strikes
in Syria could increase tensions between the United States and
    Relief over the lack of an immediate escalation pushed oil
prices lower and UK energy stocks followed suit. BP  BP.L  was
down 1.6 percent and Royal Dutch Shell  RDSa.L  0.7 percent. 
    Shares in WPP ended 6.5 percent down as investors gauged how
the world's biggest advertising agency would do without its
founder, gone after an allegation of personal misconduct.
    "It is not clear whether the current margin targets or
dividend payout will survive management change," Citi analysts
said in a note, adding that the stock's loss of a third of its
value in the past year could attract "value" investors. 
    Analysts have speculated that the group, which was being
restructured after a year of lower spending from some clients,
could now sell some assets if led by different management.
    Shares in Whitbread  WTB.L  led the FTSE with a 7.2 percent
rise after activist hedge fund Elliott Management revealed that
it had increased its stake in Britain's biggest hotel and
coffee-shop operator to more than 6 percent. 
    "Its reported push for a (coffee-shop) Costa demerger
differs from the company's current strategy, likely leading to
further speculation, which should support the shares," Morgan
Stanley analysts said.
    The disclosure came nearly three months after Reuters
reported that another activist investor, Sachem Head, wanted
Whitbread's management to examine a break-up to boost the value
of its individual businesses. 
    Shares in Shire  SHP.L , the London-listed pharmaceuticals 
company that specialises in rare diseases, rose before paring
gains to end 1.3 percent down after announcing plans to sell its
oncology business to French drugmaker Servier for $2.4 billion. 
    Shire, has also been flagged as a possible bid target for
Japan's largest drugmaker Takeda Pharma. 
    "Oncology was an area Takeda had specifically highlighted in
its rationale for a deal, so whether by accident or design
Shire’s latest move could undermine the logic behind the
transaction," said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
    Steelmaker Evraz  EVRE.L  fell by 7 percent as jitters over
U.S. sanctions against Russia continued to weigh on companies
with exposure to the country.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1RS08K
    Sage  SGE.L  was still trading in negative territory, down 3
percent after Friday's decline of about 8 percent on a cut to
the company's full-year revenue growth forecast. 

 (Reporting Julien Ponthus and Kit Rees
Editing by David Goodman)
 ((kit.rees@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 2784;))
For related prices, Reuters users may click on - * 
 UK stock report      .L     
 FTSE index:          0#.FTS6  
 techMARK 100 index:  .FTT1X          FTSE futures:      0#FFI:  
 Gilt futures:        0#FLG:          Smallcap index:     .FTSC  
 FTSE 250 index:      .FTMC           FTSE 350 index:     .FTLC  
 Market digest:       .AD.L           Top 10 by vol:      .AV.L  
 Top price gainers:   .NG.L           Top % gainers:      .PG.L  
 Top price losers:    .NL.L           Top % losers:       .PL.L  
 * For related news, click on - *
 UK hot stocks:      [HOT and GB]     Wall Street:           .N 
 Gilts report:        GB/             Euro bond report  GVD/EUR 
 Pan European stock report:  .EU 
 Tokyo stocks:        .T              HK stocks:            .HK 
 Sterling report:     GBP/            Dollar report:       USD/ 
 * For company prices, click on - *
 Company directory:   UKEQ           By sector:           FTAX  
 * For pan-European market data, click on - *
 European Equities speed guide................  EUR/EQUITY  
 FTSE Eurotop 300 index...........................  .FTEU3  
 DJ STOXX index...................................  .STOXX  
 Top 10 STOXX sectors........................  .PGL.STOXXS  
 Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors...................  .PGL.STOXXES  
 Top 10 Eurotop 300 sectors..................  .PGL.FTEU3S  
 Top 25 European pct gainers....................  .PG.PEUR  
 Top 25 European pct losers.....................  .PL.PEUR ))

Warning: This content may be provided by regulated and unregulated entities and is not created, reviewed or endorsed by Davy. It is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or solicitation to purchase or sell any security or make any other type of investment or investment decision. Importantly, it does not constitute investment advice, as it does not contemplate the personal circumstances of any particular person or group of persons. Neither Davy nor the providers of the Third Party Content will be liable for any investment decision made based on the reliance on or use of such data, or any liability that may arise due to delays or interruptions in the delivery of the Third Party Content for any reason.