Europe Stocks Little Changed as Builder Gains Offset M&A Concern

Stoxx 600 Down Amid Worst Run Since November

European stocks closed the session little changed, trimming earlier declines, as a rally in construction firms tempered investor disappointment over potential deals unraveling.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.1 percent at the close, paring an earlier drop of as much as 0.4 percent. Building and materials companies led gains after U.S. President Donald Trump said he’s going to spend “on infrastructure big.” Deutsche Boerse AG and London Stock Exchange Group Plc dragged financial-service firms lower as a deal between the two headed toward collapse. 

  • The Stoxx 600 still closed lower for a fourth day, its longest slump since the week before the U.S. election, as investors question whether a rally that pushed equities to a 14-month high last week went too far.
  • Deutsche Boerse, which has bid $13 billion for LSE, slid 3.8 percent after the U.K. market operator rejected demands by European regulators to sell one of its holdings. LSE was down 1.1 percent, while rival Euronext NV declined 2.2 percent.
  • Assicurazioni Generali SpA lost 2.8 percent after Intesa Sanpaolo SpA abandoned the idea of a merger with the Italian insurer. Intesa jumped 5.5 percent.
  • PostNL NV tumbled 7.3 percent, the most among Stoxx 600 firms, after reporting a 25 percent slump in fourth-quarter underlying operating profit.
  • While elections in France could potentially keep investors on the sidelines until May, a “non-EU threatening outcome” as predicted by current opinion polls could be the catalyst needed for European stocks to outperform, Barclays equity strategists including Dennis Jose wrote in note.
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