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European stocks end higher

European stocks end higher

European markets ended higher Monday, as Cable & Wireless shares rose on breakup hopes and energy-producing conglomerates and utility companies also gained.
The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.5 percent to 6,450.50, the German DAX Xetra 30 index increased 0.3 percent to 7,401.13 and the French CAC-40 index advanced 0.4 percent to 5,953.95.
In contrast, the Turkish stock market declined more than 6 percent after the military threatened to intervene in upcoming elections and thousands demonstrated that the country's secular framework is in jeopardy.
Elsewhere in Europe, the telecom sector was lifted by gains from Cable & Wireless, while an advance in BP shares boosted the oil and gas sector and gains of 2.6 percent from German utility E.on helped utilities.
Volumes were expected to be thin in Europe as most Continental markets will be closed Tuesday for the May Day holiday.
First-quarter earnings have been supportive for the equity markets, noted Robert Quinn, a European equity strategist at Standard & Poor's. "A high proportion of merger and acquisition activity is (also) propelling the market," he added.
Deutsche Boerse said Monday that its majority held unit, Eurex, was in talks to buy the International Securities Exchange for US$2.8 billion (euro2.05 billion) in cash, and announced an offer after the market closed. Deutsche Boerse shares were suspended, after gaining 1.4 percent earlier.
Cable & Wireless shares rose as much as 5.5 percent after a weekend news report that the telecommunications company is considering the sale of its British and international businesses. However, shares pared their gains after the company played down the report.
Telecom Italia shares turned back from early gains to trade down 2 percent after Spanish phone giant Telefonica and a group of Italian financial heavyweights Saturday bought 100 percent of Telecom Italia's largest shareholder. The move ended a long battle over control of Italy's main telecommunications operator.
Oil and gas companies saw their shares rise slightly, with BP shares up 1.1 percent after a report in the Times (of London) newspaper that it's leading the race to buy a controlling stake in Pakistan State Oil in a deal worth around US$600 million (euro440 million).
Eni rose 0.3 percent after the Italian oil group agreed to buy Gulf of Mexico fields from Dominion in a US$4.8 billion deal, as the group continues to snap up assets around the world to replace its increasingly mature assets.
ABN Amro shares fell 1 percent after an Amsterdam court said on Saturday that it will decide Thursday whether to freeze the sale of ABN Amro's LaSalle Bank to Bank of America. ABN is currently the subject of competing bids from a European bank consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Britain's Barclays.
Royal Bank of Scotland shares were flat, while Barclays' shares rose 0.3 percent.
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Sarah Turner is a correspondent of Dow Jones Newswires.


Updated : 2021-02-28 09:36 GMT+08:00