European stocks advance on mergers
Treasuries fall for first time in a week before Fed meeting
In the US the Nasdaq 100 index had lost 1.2 per cent by lunchtime yesterday, pushing its drop from a March high to 6.3 per cent as Amazon.com and Netflix dropped at least 4.7 per cent. Photograph: Reuters/Rick Wilking
European stocks advanced as companies from AstraZeneca to Bayer AG rose amid an increase in mergers-and-acquisitions activity, offsetting new US sanctions against Russian individuals and companies.
US stocks fluctuated, as deal activity boosted large companies while small caps sold off, as the US and the European Union slapped new sanctions on Russia. Treasuries fell for the first time in a week before Federal Reserve policy makers begin a two-day meeting tomorrow.
The Iseq index of Dublin shares ended the day down 0.85 per cent, at 4,835.43.
Dragon Oil, Tullow, Glanbia and Kerry were amongst those shares that increased in value through the day. Dragon closed at €7.43, a rise of 2.49 per cent, while Tullow closed the day up 1.28 per cent, at €10.32.
With the food stocks, Glanbia closed at €10.70, a rise of 2.10 per cent, while Kerry closed at €56.42, a rise of 1.38 per cent.
Amongst those that fell during the day were Ryanair , which closed at €6.88, a fall of 5.88 per cent, and Bank of Ireland , which fell 1.48 per cent, to close at €0.26. Independent News & Media fell 9.68 per cent, to €0.14, while Fyffes fell 1.63 per cent, to €1.21. CRH fell by 0.05 per cent, to close at €20.72.
UK stocks rose, after two straight weekly increases, led by a surge in AstraZeneca as Pfizer confirmed its interest in taking it over. AstraZeneca jumped 14 per cent after Pfizer proposed buying it in what would be the industry’s biggest-ever takeover.
Shire gained 2.4 per cent. Rio Tinto Group followed a gauge of basic resources companies lower.
GW Pharmaceuticals rose 1 per cent to 318 pence after earlier gaining as much as 13 per cent. The biopharmaceutical company said the US’s Food and Drug Administration has granted fast track designation to its Sativex treatment of pain for cancer patients, meaning that it will get greater access to the FDA to facilitate the drug’s development.
Rio Tinto , the world’s second-biggest mining company, slipped 2.8 per cent to 3,185.5 pence as a gauge of commodity producers fell the most on the Stoxx 600. Glencore Xstrata retreated 1.1 per cent to 312.6 pence. BP lost 1 per cent to 488.4 pence. OAO Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin is on the US list of sanctioned Russian individuals. BP Russian Investments Ltd owns about 19.75 per cent of Rosneft’s registered capital, according to Rosneft’s website.
Sierra Rutile Ltd slid 8.6 per cent to 53 pence after saying takeover talks with companies potentially interested in the rutile producer had come to an end.
Bayer AG rose 3.3 per cent after people familiar with the matter said Europe’s biggest pharmaceutical and chemicals conglomerate is exploring a sale of its plastics unit to focus on growing the health business. It also reported that first- quarter profit rose 12 per cent.
Siemens AG lost 2.5 per cent after French officials asked Alstom to consider a rival offer to beat a bid from General Electric Co. Alstom shares are suspended for a second day. The French government doesn’t oppose GE’s bid to buy the bulk of Alstom, said a person familiar with talks today between Hollande and Immelt in Paris.
US stocks fell in the morning, with a sell-off in Internet and smaller companies spreading to the rest of the market for a second day, and Treasuries pared their first slide in a week before Federal Reserve policy makers meet tomorrow.
The Nasdaq 100 Index lost 1.2 per cent at 1.26pm in New York, pushing its drop from a March high to 6.3 per cent as Amazon.com and Netflix dropped at least 4.7 per cent.
Bank of America dropped 6.3 per cent after announcing it will suspend its planned buybacks and dividend increase because of an error in its capital planning.