European stocks climbed for a third straight week amid takeover activity and corporate earnings that surpassed analysts’ estimates.
AstraZeneca PLC surged 18 percent as Pfizer Inc sweetened its bid for the UK’s second-biggest drugmaker. Alstom SA jumped 10 percent as General Electric Co made an offer for the French company’s energy business. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC climbed 9.4 percent after posting quarterly profits that exceeded projections.
The STOXX Europe 600 Index added 1.3 percent to 337.76 in a shortened holiday week for its biggest increase in a month. The benchmark equity gauge rallied 1.1 percent last month, following a decline in March.
The index closed within 0.4 percent of the six-year high it reached on April 4.
“M&A [merger and acquisition] is helping the market,” Louis de Fels, a Paris-based fund manager at Raymond James Financial Inc, said in an interview. “US companies have a lot of cash, and they want to use it in Europe, so it is positive for the European market.”
National benchmark indices rose in 16 of the 18 Western European markets this week. The UK’s FTSE 100 advanced 2.1 percent, while Germany’s DAX added 1.6 percent. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.3 percent. Most European markets were closed on Thursday for a holiday.
M&A announcements, coupled with better-than-expected earnings, offset concern over the Ukraine crisis. The US and the EU imposed new asset freezes and travel bans on people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and some of their companies. Ukraine sent armored vehicles and artillery to retake Slovyansk, a stronghold for pro-separatist forces, defying Putin’s demand to pull back troops.
AstraZeneca surged 18 percent as Pfizer sweetened its bid to ￡63.1 billion (US$106 billion). AstraZeneca rejected the proposal on Friday, saying the offer fails to recognize the value of promising experimental medicines under development.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion