Stocks

Dealmaking activity drives sharp share price moves in Europe

Reuters London | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on January 12, 2018

The STOXX is also set to end the week little changed.

GKN surges after rejecting unsolicited takeover; Puma plummets on Kering spin off to shareholders

Dealmaking activity drove sharp share price moves in Europe on Friday with British engineer GKN leaping after it rejected an unsolicited offer from rival Melrose.

A gain of over 20 per cent in GKN and strength in the auto sector offset weakness among energy stocks, helping the pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark steady after losses in the previous two sessions.

The STOXX is also set to end the week little changed as a strengthening euro and expectations that the European Central Bank could reduce its stimulus sooner than expected cooled down the new year's euphoria.

A rise in the euro on news that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democrats had agreed a blueprint for formal coalition negotiations held back gains but the German talks had little other impact. The index however remained near 2-1/2 year highs as solid economic data had fuelled inflows into the region's equities.

“Europe Equity Funds posted consecutive weekly inflows for the first time since late October, helped by the first retail commitments in nearly two months, as investors responded to some rosy forecasts for the region's economic growth,” said Cameron Brandt, Research Director at US-based EPFR, in a note.

After rejecting Melrose, GKN set out plans to split into separate aerospace and automotive businesses after rejecting the bid from Melrose, which follows problems at GKN's US business making aircraft components

Kering briefly hit a record high after the French luxury goods group announced plans to spin off German sports brand Puma to its shareholders to focus squarely on its more upmarket brands. Puma slumped 6.1 per cent, while Kering reversed course and was down 1.6 per cent. Minority Puma shareholders had been hoping for a tie-up between Puma and another industry player rather than a spin-off, one trader said.

Elsewhere, earnings updates drove price action on Friday. Vivendi fell 1.7 per cent after the acquisitive media conglomerate lowered its 2017 full-year guidance for core operating profit and revenues, penalised by higher restructuring costs tied to its pay-TV unit Canal Plus.

Danish food ingredients developer Chr Hansen fell 6 per cent, leading losers on the STOXX, after first-quarter results fell short of analyst estimates.

Autos were the biggest sectoral gainer, up 1.4 per cent, boosted by GKN and a rise to a fresh record high for Fiat Chrysler, which has been recently supported by fresh speculation of possible strategic deals. The energy index inched lower 0.2 per cent as oil prices retreated from big gains on Thursday.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on January 12, 2018
null
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor