FRIDAY MARKET CLOSE: Takeover talk sends Tullow soaring

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Shares in driller Tullow Oil jumped amid rumours that it was a takeover target for Norwegian peer Statoil.

The stock was up almost 8 per cent, adding 64.5p at 909.5p, also buoyed by a recent broker upgrade from HSBC.

Tullow’s gains came as resource stocks enjoyed a revival on the back of higher commodity prices, helping the benchmark FTSE 100 Index to add 48.6 points or 0.7 per cent to 6,739.94. The index had been up more than 1 per cent until the unexpectedly low US job creation figures for December put traders in a more cautious mood.

The biggest top flight faller was Lloyds Banking Group as investors cashed in some of their recent gains. The shares were 2.22p lower at 83.04p.

Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said: “Lloyds shares succumbed to a bout of profit taking. This follows an early morning test of levels last seen in November 2008 and a rally of 8.6 per cent already this year.”

Arm Holdings was also under pressure after Goldman Sachs axed the chip maker from its “conviction buy” list, a day after the shares were downgraded by Deutsche Bank. It slipped 25.5p to 972p.

BP recovered from a downgrade by Exane BNP Paribas to stand 1.7p higher at 497p. Its big rival Royal Dutch Shell was upgraded by the broker and climbed by nearly 2 per cent or 43.5p to 2,308p.

A broker upgrade also benefited emergency repair firm Homeserve as its shares jumped 9 per cent or 23.5p to 282.5p in the FTSE 250 Index thanks to a note from UBS.

Meanwhile, shareholders in Cineworld welcomed its £500 million cash-and-shares deal to buy Warsaw-listed Cinema City, creating a merged group with 1,852 screens across Europe. Shares jumped 13 per cent, or 51.5p to 443.5p.