(Sharecast News) - Mergers and acquisitions speculation continued to drive sector moves at the start of the week - yet again.
This time it was the telecommunications that was in focus.
According to Sky News, BT Group asked bankers at Goldman Sachs to update its defence strategy to fend off potential takeover approaches from industry rivals and buyout firms after the suspension of its dividend sent the shares tumbling to their lowest level in more than a decade.
It was understood that boutique investment bank Robey Warshaw, a long-standing adviser to Vodafone, may also be asked by BT to play a role. Sources told Sky that BT had not yet received a formal approach from any potential suitor.
As of 1503 BST, shares of BT were 5.03% higher with the company's market value again back above the £10bn mark.
AstraZeneca shares were advancing alongside on the back of speculation that the Trump administration might push for fast-track approval of the Covid-19 vaccine under development by Oxford University and the drug giant.
Triggering that speculation, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, that the White House was considering whether to bypass normal US regulatory standards to accelerate that vaccine for use in the States before the presidential elections.
The FT cited three unnamed people briefed on the matter, although a spokesman for the US Health and Human Services department reportedly denied that emergency use approval might be granted before the 3 November elections.
For its part, AstraZeneca added that it had not talked to Washington about a possible EUA for its vaccine.
Shares of AstraZeneca had been rangebound since the end of April in anticipation of clinical trial results that were expected for between early September and early October.
Top performing sectors so far today
Fixed Line Telecommunications 1,324.08 +5.02%
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 18,267.88 +3.05%
Electronic & Electrical Equipment 8,950.20 +2.68%
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 4,479.59 +2.66%
Tobacco 26,907.88 +2.66%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Real Estate Investment & Services 2,441.72 -0.97%
Industrial Transportation 1,944.68 -0.80%
Travel & Leisure 6,462.59 -0.64%
Real Estate Investment Trusts 2,575.44 -0.31%
Alternative Energy 0.00 0.00%
PARIS, May 9 (Reuters) - European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Sunday the European Commission did not renew its order for AstraZeneca vaccines against COVID-19 for after June.The European Commission last month launched legal...