Europe Stocks Climb for Ninth Day in Longest Streak Since 2014

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Takeover activity and receding concerns over Greece sent European stocks up for a ninth day.

OCI NV rallied 14 percent after CF Industries Holdings Inc. said it’s in preliminary talks about a combination with some businesses of the Dutch maker of fertilizers. Aveva Group Plc jumped 27 percent after Schneider Electric SE agreed to merge its software business with the U.K. company. Pearson Plc trimmed a loss of as much as 3.2 percent after people familiar with the matter said it’s exploring a sale of the Financial Times.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3 percent to 406.8 at the close of trading in London. It pared an advance of as much as 0.8 percent as a gauge tracking miners fell, with the Bloomberg Commodity Index dropping to its lowest level since 2002.

“It’s good to see that Greece is moving out of the headlines,” Alessandro Bee, a strategist at Bank J Safra Sarasin, said by phone from Zurich. “The worst has been avoided and the risk-aversion sentiment that dominated markets has definitely eased. More M&A activity is among things showing that confidence is returning.”

The Stoxx 600 climbed 4.3 percent last week, the most since January, as Greece and its creditors reached an agreement paving the way for a new bailout and the European Central Bank increased emergency liquidity assistance to the country.

Debt Relief

German Chancellor Angela Merkel held out the prospect of limited debt relief for Greece, where banks are reopening after three weeks. Greece gave the order to repay 6.8 billion euros ($7.4 billion) to creditors, the Finance Ministry said. The Athens Stock Exchange remained shut

With a 1.1 percent increase, Italy’s FTSE MIB Index was among the biggest gainers in western-European markets. It closed at its highest level since 2009. Mediobanca SpA added 4.1 percent as Bank of America Corp. reinstated a buy rating on the stock.

Julius Baer Group Ltd. slipped 1.4 percent after Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager said first-half profit declined as it took a provision to settle a tax dispute with the U.S.

Randgold Resources Ltd. fell 4.7 percent as gold dropped to a five-year low. U.K. miner Fresnillo Plc retreated 4.4 percent.

The volume of Stoxx 600 shares changing hands was 29 percent lower than the 30-day average on Monday.

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