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(ShareCast News) - Pharma and Industrial engineering shares are at the top of the leaderboard amid supportive news-flow and broker commentary.
Shire was pacing gains in the former after the Dublin-based firm obtained a marketing authorisation application from the European Medicines Agency for doctors to use its Veyvondi treatment on adult patients with the bleeding disorder von Willebrand Disease.
Morgan Stanley lay behind the advance in shares of Rotork after it 'double-upgraded' the electric and hydraulic valve manufacturer to 'overweight'.
The broker pointed out how the stock had lagged the Capital Goods sector by 20% year-to-date.
Falling oil prices as well as for equipment alongside lower capital spending punished Rotork's share price, but they had now overshot to the downside, Morgan Stanley said.
Furthermore, the broker's proprietary capex tracker revealed that expectations were bottoming among the 369 companies and eight markets covered by its survey.
Somewhat ironically, oil equipment stocks were acting as the biggest drag on Thursday as wary traders kept a close eye on the declining price of oil.
Beverages were also down after Diageo announced its acquisition of super-premium tequila brand Casamigos for $1bn the day before.
The brand would help its growth prospects in the States but analysts at Citi said the 20 times sales multiple paid by Diageo looked "very high".
Credit Suisse was of a similar view, saying the transaction had a "sound" strategic rationale but was "certainly expensive".
On the plus side, the Swiss broker emphasised Casamigos relatively small size, low penetration and current growth run-rate.
Top performing sectors so far today
Industrial Metals & Mining 2,175.31 +2.08%
Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 14,872.64 +1.35%
Industrial Engineering 11,285.56 +0.43%
Software & Computer Services 2,133.80 +0.39%
Electricity 8,808.17 +0.29%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Forestry & Paper 22,264.40 -1.81%
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution 11,758.36 -1.66%
Beverages 18,877.04 -1.26%
Food & Drug Retailers 2,829.63 -1.01%
Aerospace and Defence 5,502.61 -0.96%
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