Stock watch

The recent disappointing performance of the UK's leading blue chip shares continued on Wednesday as the FTSE 100 recorded an intraday low of 5475.6 before settling 12.8 points down at 5506.8.

The recent disappointing performance of the UK's leading blue chip shares continued on Wednesday as the FTSE 100 recorded an intraday low of 5475.6 before settling 12.8 points down at 5506.8.

Of the day's main losers, insurance company Friends Provident dropped 3.5p to 166.25p as hopes that the French insurer AXA would make a bid for the business faded. Broadcaster ITV had a weaker day on concern over advertising revenues as the shares fell 1.25p to 100.75p.

On the upside, pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca gained 74p to 3017p on rumours that Europe's third largest drug-maker would be the next in line for a takeover bid.

Michelle Stansby, Divisional Director - Investment Manager, Gerrard Investment Management Limited

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