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Europe close: Stocks end mixed despite gains for travel and leisure names

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Monday 14 Sep 2020

Europe close: Stocks end mixed despite gains for travel and leisure names

(Sharecast News) - European stocks finished the session on a mixed note, despite news at the weekend that AstraZeneca has resumed the key clinical trial for the Covid-19 vaccine candidate that it's developing with the University of Oxford.

Thus, by the end of trading, the early impetus from merger and acquisition activity had subsided.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.15% at 368.51, but the German Dax reversed course, dipping 0.07% to 13,193.66.

France's Cac-40 fared better, adding 0.35% to 5,051.88 while the Spanish Ibex 35 was little changed, up by 0.11% to 6,951.1.

AstraZeneca's announcement did boost the Stoxx 600's Travel&Leisure sector, sending a subindex for the group higher by 1.93%.

Technology issues meanwhile added 0.94%.

"It appears to be becoming much more difficult to separate the optimism around the chatter about progress on a vaccine, with the economic reality that tighter restrictions are likely to curtail the current rebound in economic activity across the bloc," said CMC Markets UK's Michael Hewson.

"The rising tide of coronavirus cases across the UK and Europe and the resultant tightening of restrictions, along with the announcement by the CEO of the world's largest vaccine maker, the Serum Institute of India, that it could take until 2024 before everyone is inoculated has helped to temper some of this morning's early enthusiasm."

Elsewhere on the pandemic front, analysts at Pantheon Macroeconomics said the rate of increase in new Covid-19 cases in Europe was no longer exponential outside of the Netherlands, with France and Spain still accounting for the bulk of new infections.

In the M&A arena, Japan's Softbank agreed a $40bn deal with US chip maker Nvidia to sell UK peer ARM Holdings, which it acquired for $32bn in 2016.

SoftBank will become Nvidia's largest shareholder after the Japanese group receives $21.5bn in common stock and $12bn in cash.

Meanwhile, Swiss lenders UBS and Credit Suisse are allegedly exploring a possible tie-up, in a move that would create one Europe's biggest banks, Inside Paradeplatz reported on Monday.

Euronext confirmed that it has made a non-binding offer to London Stock Exchange to buy Borsa Italiana. The offer was made in partnership with Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Intesa Sanpaolo.

Investors were also digesting news that Oracle has beaten rival Microsoft in negotiations for the US operations of ByteDance's TikTok.

Also overseas, Gilead Sciences said over the weekend that it had agreed to buy biotech company Immunomedics in a $21bn deal. Gilead will pay $88 per share in cash for Immunomedics, which will strengthen its cancer drug portfolio.

Dassault Aviation shares were among the top risers on the Stoxx 600, jumping more than 8%, after the Greek Air Force announced an order for 18 of its Rafale fighter jets.


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