European stocks were seeing modest gains on Monday and yields held steady, as investors awaited a speech by ECB President Christine Lagarde before the European Parliament for directional cues.
Analysts expect her to maintain the ECB’s dovish stance, saying that it is too soon to consider tapering support.
Elsewhere, St. Louis Federal Reserve President Jim Bullard offered a fresh dose of hawkishness, saying he sees an initial interest rate increase happening in 2022.
The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.3 percent to 453.21 after losing 1.6 percent on Friday. The German DAX, France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 were up between 0.2 percent and half a percent.
Banks fell broadly, with Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale losing about 1 percent on concerns that they could face challenges in their bond portfolios in a rising interest rate regime.
Italian-American vehicle maker CNH Industrial rallied 2.1 percent after it agreed a deal to buy Raven Industries at an enterprise value of $2.1 billion.
Vivendi shares rose half a percent in Paris. Hedge-fund billionaire William Ackman’s Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd. has agreed to acquire 10 percent of Universal Music Group from the French media conglomerate for about $4 billion, the companies said in a statement on Sunday.
EssilorLuxottica SA shares were little changed. The ophthalmic company announced the renewal of its exclusive license agreement with American luxury lifestyle brand Tory Burch.
British supermarket chain Morrisons Supermarkets jumped 32 percent following a takeover pursuit.
The company confirmed an unsolicited highly conditional non-binding cash offer of 230 pence per share from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Funds XI or CD&R.
The Board, however, rejected the conditional proposal saying it significantly undervalues the firm. Tesco, Sainsbury and Ocado were up 2-5 percent.
Travel-related stocks were moving lower as U.K. scientists warned of ‘miserable winter’ due to new respiratory viruses related to the Delta variant, which originated in India.
Budget airline easyJet shed 0.6 percent, Ryanair edged down 0.2 percent and British Airways-owner IAG declined 0.8 percent.
In economic releases, British households’ optimism about their finances over the next twelve months reached its highest level in five years in the second quarter, survey results from IHS Markit showed.
The headline Scottish Widows household finance index, which measures households’ overall perceptions of financial wellbeing, rose to 44.7 in the second quarter from 42.0 in the first quarter.
The indicator signaled the weakest deterioration in U.K. household finances since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
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