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Europe open: Shares up on Covid vaccine hopes, M&A activity

Mon, 14th Sep 2020 08:27

(Sharecast News) - European stocks opened higher on Monday as Covid-19 vaccine hopes boosted investor sentiment.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.37% at the start the week with all major bourses higher. Merger and acquisition activity also provided impetus.

News that Phase 3 trials of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine had resumed in the UK after a pause last week over safety concerns pushed shares into the green.

"European stocks have got off to a positive start to the week helped by a decent performance in Asia, as well as renewed optimism over progress on a possible vaccine after AstraZeneca resumed its UK trials after last week's suspension over safety concerns, and possible side effects," said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

"The CEO of US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer was also upbeat about the prospect that US citizens could well see the beginnings of a Covid vaccine by year end.

M&A activity provided a lift after Japan's Softbank agreed a $40bn deal with US chip maker Nvidia for 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, 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.

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.

Dassault Aviation shares led the risers board, jumping more than 9% in early trade, after the Greek Air Force announced an order for 18 of its Rafale fighter jets.

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