UK stocks : FTSE 100 down 0.05 pct

Dec 21 2012, 05:40 IST
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SummaryBritain's top share index steadied around nine-month highs on Thursday.

last year, according to Reuters calculations.

Engineer Weir Group added 2.8 percent as investors cheered its acquisition of U.S. oil equipment firm Mathena as it looks to increase exposure to the rapidly growing shale oil and gas markets.

UBS said the acquisition could boost Weir's earnings by about 5 percent, and potentially more. "The deal looks very attractive if Weir have timed their purchase right," UBS analysts said in a note.

On the down side, shares in Carnival dropped 6.1 percent in afternoon trade, after it sounded a cautious note on its 2013 outlook. The world's largest cruise operator said advance bookings for 2013 continued to be below the prior year levels, at slightly lower prices.

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