UK pharmaceuticals rose in early trading after speculation mounted President Barrack Obama's healthcare reforms could be thwarted by the Republicans.
News that the party had taken an extra seat in Massachusetts, giving it enough seats in the Senate to block Obama's proposals, buoyed the sector worldwide.
Nevertheless, the FTSE index fell by 0.2% to 5504.67 points in early trading. It still sits about 35% higher than its 52-week low of 3512.09.
In the UK, Shire Plc rose by 1.8% to £12.51, while GlaxoSmithKline, 40% of whose sales are in the US, rose 1.7% to £13.06. Rival AstraZeneca also rose, by 0.83% to £25.50.
Barclays, which fell yesterday after broker Credit Suisse said it could be forced to raise fresh capital to satisfy capital requirements, fell a further 1.6%. It is at £3.09.
In the US, the Dow Jones closed up 1.1% at 10.725.43 points.
Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co was the largest gainer, rising 2.9% to $40.62, while banking group JP Morgan Chase fell by 1% to $43.28.
Asian pharamceuticals deriving earnings from the US also gained ground from the US news, including Astellas Pharma Inc, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co and Eisai Co.
Despite this, Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed down 27.4 points, or 0.25% at 10,737.52 yesterday, pulled lower by the bankruptcy filing of Japan Airlines, whose shares are 98% lower than they were six months ago.
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