UPDATE 1-FTSE tracks Europe higher; Shire shines

Reuters

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    * FTSE 100 up 0.3 pct
    * Shire gains after China nod to Takeda deal
    * Housebuilders in focus
    * Investec rallies on spin-off plans

 (Adds closing)
    By Danilo Masoni
    MILAN, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Britain's top share index tracked
higher European markets on Friday with the mood buoyed by easing
trade worries, while Shire rose after China cleared Takeda's
plans to buy the drugmaker.
    The FTSE 100  .FTSE  ended up 0.3 percent, underpinned by
gains among industrials and materials sectors, which more than
offset weakness among utilities, hit earlier this week by a
profit warning from SSE  SSE.L .
    "Traders (are) hopeful about U.S.-China trade talks despite
President Trump being the fly in the ointment, downplaying
prospects for quick negotiations," Accendo Markets analayst Mike
van Dulken said.    
    President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the United
States was under no pressure to make a trade deal with China,
even as Chinese officials welcomed an invitation from Washington
for a new round of talks with more U.S. tariffs looming.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1VZ2MA
    After the European close, however, markets were unnerved
after a Bloomberg report said Trump had asked aides to proceed
with tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N1W014Q
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N1W0158 
    The FTSE scored a small weekly gain following two 
consecutive weeks of losses partly due to a rally in the pound
on prospects of a Brexit deal with the European Union. 
    On Friday, the pound slipped after touching its highest
level since early August. The index, whose constituents make
more than two-thirds of their sales abroad, remains down around
5 percent so far in 2018.
    Shire  SHP.L  rose 2.2 percent.
    Takeda Pharmaceutical  4502.T  said China approved its
purchase of Shire, the latest regulator to clear the $62 billion
deal and bring the Japanese group closer to becoming a global
top 10 drugmaker.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1W03F1
    Taked expects the deal to close in the first half of 2019
although it needs shareholder approval to raise the funds to pay
for the $62 billion deal.
    British housebuilders Barrat Developments  BDEV.L  and
Taylor Wimpey  TW.L  came under pressure after Bank of England
governor Mark Carney was reported in the Times as having told
ministers that a no-deal Brexit could cause house prices to fall
by 35 percent over three years.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N1VZ6MO
    Their stocks recovered ground to end up 0.6 and 0.1 percent
respectively after Carney clarified that the bank's "stress
test" scenarios in which house prices fell sharply did not
amount to a prediction from the BoE.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL9N1UT00K  
    Mid-cap Investec  INVP.L  rose 8.4 percent on news it plans
to hive off and separately list its asset management unit in a
restructuring that comes as the long-serving company founder
leaves the financial services group.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N1W013N
    "Investec's plan to spin off its asset management arm looks
like a sensible decision as it should allow management more
freedom to drive that business forward and not be constrained by
having to follow the strategy of the current parent which is
predominantly a specialist banking business," said Russ Mould,
investment director at AJ Bell.
    JD Wetherspoon  JDW.L  declined 1.3 percent after the pub
chain said it expected higher costs this year even though a
record heatwave that brought in more customers lifted its
full-year profit.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1W0301

 (Reporting by Danilo Masoni;
Editing by Alison Williams)
 ((Danilo.Masoni@TR.com; +39-02-66129734; Reuters Messaging:
danilo.masoni.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; On Twitter https://twitter.com/damasoni))
 
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