European Stock-Index Futures Advance After Easter Holiday

European stock-index futures rose, indicating the Stoxx Europe 600 Index will climb for a third day, as the region’s markets reopen after the Easter holiday. U.S. index futures and Asian shares were little changed.

Novartis AG may move after the Swiss drugmaker agreed to buy GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s cancer-drug business, form a consumer-health venture with Glaxo and sell its animal-health unit to Eli Lilly & Co. Royal Philips NV may be active after the world’s biggest lighting company posted first-quarter profit that missed analysts’ projections.

Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index expiring in June added 0.5 percent to 3,111 at 7:11 a.m. in London. Contracts on the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 0.4 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped less than 0.1 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.2 percent.

The Stoxx 600 advanced 1.1 percent last week as better-than-estimated U.S. data bolstered investor confidence that the economic recovery is on course. The gauge is 2 percent away from its six-year high reached April 4 amid a confrontation between Ukraine’s government and pro-Russian separatists in the country’s eastern region.

An agreement to ease tensions in Ukraine showed signs of crumbling on the eve of meetings in Kiev between Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian government leaders. Biden will offer U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and economy in today’s visit and urge implementing the accord signed last week in Geneva, according to an Obama administration official. A deadly shootout in Ukraine during the weekend led to renewed calls for economic sanctions against Russia.

Consumer Confidence

A gauge of consumer confidence this month probably remained at its highest level since 2007, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists before European Commission data today at 4 p.m. Brussels time.

Novartis may move. The company is buying Glaxo’s cancer-drug unit for as $16 billion and selling the animal-health operation to Eli Lilly for $5.4 billion. Novartis will also sell its vaccines business, excluding the flu operations, to Glaxo for $7.1 billion, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said in a statement.

Philips may be active after the company said earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and one-time items amounted dropped 13 percent to 368 million euros ($508 million). That trailed the average analyst estimate calling for 413 million euros. Sales fell 5 percent to 5.02 billion euros.

Schindler Holding AG may move after the elevator maker said first-quarter net income fell 3.6 percent to 160 million Swiss francs ($181 million). Revenue rose 8.8 percent in local currencies to 2.05 billion francs.

(Corrects expiry date for futures in third paragraph of story published on April 22.)
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