Photographer: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Magnum Ice Crea

European Stocks Inch Higher in Thin Trading as Unilever Drops

European stocks edged higher, with gains in miners and telecommunications firms tempered by a slide in Unilever NV.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent at the close, with commodity producers snapping a two-day drop as metal prices increased. The volume of shares traded in the equity gauge was a third lower than the 30-day average, with U.S. markets closed for a holiday.

  • Unilever’s London-listed shares tumbled the most since 2008 after Kraft Heinz Co. withdrew its $143 billion bid for the firm. The Anglo-Dutch consumer company surged on Friday as news of the offer became public.
  • Deutsche Telekom AG led telecommunications shares higher, rising 2.5 percent after a report that Sprint owner Softbank Corp. was targeting its T-Mobile US Inc. unit in a merger.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc rallied 6.8 percent to a one-year high after scrapping plans to sell its Williams & Glyn banking unit, removing one of its biggest obstacles to paying dividends and cutting the U.K. government’s stake.
  • With political risk in Europe in the spotlight, JPMorgan equity strategists including Emmanuel Cau and Mislav Matejka recommend a paired trade of Germany’s DAX Index versus France’s CAC 40 Index as a hedge against the risk of a populist vote in France, according to a note. In the case of a win for Marine Le Pen in France, the DAX should be a relative haven within the euro area, they wrote.
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