U.K. Stocks Slump to 15-Month Low as Shire Shares Tumble

U.K. stocks fell, closing at the lowest level in more than a year, as Shire Plc tumbled.

The drugmaker plunged 22 percent, the most in 12 years, after AbbVie Inc. said its board will consider scrapping its planned 32.4-billion-pound ($51.5 billion) acquisition. Possible merger targets AstraZeneca Plc and Smith & Nephew Plc retreated more than 3 percent. Balfour Beatty Plc jumped 5.3 percent after Britain’s biggest builder named a new chief executive officer.

The FTSE 100 Index fell 181.04 points, or 2.8 percent, to 6,211.64 at the close in London. That’s the biggest drop since June of last year. The equity benchmark gauge has slid 9.7 percent since Sept. 4, when it came close to a 14-year high. The broader FTSE All-Share Index dropped 2.6 percent today, and Ireland’s ISEQ Index slipped 2.5 percent.

A report showed U.K. unemployment fell more than forecast to the lowest in six years. Still, there are signs of a slowdown, as jobless claims slid the least since April 2013 in September and a quarterly increase in payrolls was the smallest in more than a year.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.