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AstraZeneca, Berkeley, Rio Tinto: U.K., Irish Equity Preview

By Jack Jordan and Sarah Jones

Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual price changes in U.K. and Irish markets. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are from the last market close.

The benchmark FTSE 100 Index gained 125.06, or 2.2 percent, to 5,767.56. The FTSE All-Share Index rose 2.2 percent, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index advanced 2.1 percent.

AstraZeneca Plc (AZN LN): The drugmaker won a U.S. panel’s backing to introduce the first medicine for advanced cases of a rare type of thyroid cancer. Doctors and scientists advising the Food and Drug Administration supported approval of AstraZeneca’s vandetanib today, without taking a formal vote.

Separately, AstraZeneca won a U.K. ruling blocking Slovenian generic-drug maker Krka Group d.d. from joining a lawsuit filed by Rambaxy Laboratories Ltd. over patents for the ulcer treatment Nexium. The stock advanced 1 percent to 3,064 pence.

Berkeley Group Holdings Plc (BKG LN): The U.K.’s second-biggest homebuilder by market value reported a 21 percent increase in first-half net income to 44.5 million pounds ($69.5 million). The shares rose 1.9 percent to 840 pence.

Greene King Plc (GNK LN): The U.K. pub owner and brewer of Old Speckled Hen ale posted a first-half net income of 51.9 million pounds. The stock climbed 2.3 percent to 460 pence.

Imagination Technologies Group Plc (IMG LN): Goldman Sachs Group Inc. rated the company “conviction buy” in new coverage. The shares climbed 1.9 percent to 377 pence.

Intercontinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG LN): Goldman Sachs raised its recommendation for the hotelier to “buy” from “neutral.” The stock climbed 4.7 percent to 1,209 pence.

Resolution Ltd. (RSL LN): The insurance-buyout firm founded by Clive Cowdery said Chief Operating Officer Brendan Meehan will retire at the end of the year. The stock declined 0.5 percent to 213.8 pence.

Rio Tinto Group (RIO LN): The world’s third-largest mining company and its largest shareholder, Aluminum Corp. of China, agreed to jointly seek and develop coking coal and copper deposits in China. The joint venture may choose between three and five targets to explore initially. The shares jumped 4.9 percent to 4,415 pence.

Xstrata Plc (XTA LN): The world’s biggest thermal coal exporter said zinc and lead output at its Mount Isa operation in Australia will rise more than 10 percent this year and next as production costs decline. The shares jumped 2.6 percent to 1,403 pence.

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