Europe Stocks Rise as Intesa Leads Italian Bank Gains, Nestle Up

Nestle Targeted by Dan Loeb in $3.5 Billion Bet

Gains in Italian lenders and Swiss food giant Nestle SA helped European stocks rebound from three weeks of losses.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.4 percent at the close, following its longest weekly losing streak since the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union. Miners reversed gains in afternoon trading, helping trim gains of as much as 0.9 percent in the benchmark.

Intesa Sanpaolo SpA jumped 3.5 percent after agreeing to pay just 1 euro for the good assets of two failed Veneto banks, with the backing of the Italian state. The intervention, which analysts say reduces the systemic risk in the country’s financial sector, also lifted shares of UniCredit SpA, Banco BPM SpA and BPER Banca SpA.

  • Nestle, Europe’s most valuable listed company, rose 4.3 percent to an all-time high. Activist investor Dan Loeb’s hedge fund has amassed a $3.5 billion stake in the Nestle, and has encouraged the company to sell its stake in L’Oreal SA, increase leverage for share buybacks and adopt a formal profitability target.
    • Shares of L’Oreal climbed 3.9 percent, the second-biggest advancer on the Stoxx 600, after Nestle.
  • Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rallied 0.8 percent for the best performance among euro-area national benchmarks.
  • The Stoxx 600 is on track for a fourth quarterly advance, its best showing since 2014.
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