European Stocks Little Changed as Unilever Offsets Bank Retreatby
European stocks ended the session little changed as a jump in Unilever shares offset declines in banks and commodity producers.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added less than 0.1 percent at the close. The benchmark erased a drop of as much as 0.6 percent, boosted by a 13 percent surge in Unilever after Kraft Heinz Co. said the consumer-goods peer rejected its merger approach. Miners and energy shares tracked declines in metal and oil prices.
- The Stoxx 600 trimmed a weekly advance as it lost ground after capping its longest rally in 19 months.
- Volkswagen AG led carmakers lower, down 2.3 percent after global sales of its own brand vehicles fell in January.
- Stoxx 600 banks dropped the most in almost two weeks. The sector is still poised for a fifth straight monthly advance, which would be the longest winning streak in three years.
- Improving economic growth and a return to profit increases in Europe and globally should drive higher demand for European equities, Citigroup Inc. strategists including Jonathan Stubbs wrote in a note.