GSK shares continue recent good run

Property and real estate shares came under pressure after British Land gave a cautious assessment of current conditions in the property market.

Property and real estate shares came under pressure after British Land gave a cautious assessment of current conditions in the property market.

Mining and commodity stocks provided the counterweight as the FTSE 100 Index closed marginally ahead, 28.3 points higher at 6381.8.

Shares in GlaxoSmithKline continued their recent good run to close 31p higher. The UK's largest pharmaceutical company announced that Rotarix, a drug for use against gastroenteritis, has been granted pre-qualification status by the World Health Organization.

The move should enable numerous UN agencies to purchase large quantities of the drug, which will be used in mass vaccination programs.

Shares in Glaxo closed at £14.91. The share price of Angel Biotechnology was sharply ahead after the group announced that all resolutions had been passed at the company's EGM.

Angel's shares gave up ground last month after it was revealed that the company intends to raise £500m through a share placing. The proceeds are to be used in developing the facility in Cramlington and to provide additional working capital for the group.

The shares closed 8% higher at 0.4p.

Elsewhere within the regional portfolio, a positive day for transport stocks helped Arriva to climb 11p to 760.5p, while shares in Premier Direct were amongst the day's biggest fallers, sliding 8p to end the session at 55.5p. Premier last month reported that it had returned into profit in the first quarter of the new financial year and that the crucial Christmas trading period was progressing in line with market expectations.

The shares reached a low point of 29p in August last year, but have since risen 91% to current levels.

Campbell MacLachlan is an assistant director at Wise Speke.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer