UK Markets close in 1 hr 26 mins

LIVE MARKETS-A bit of M&A to spice things up

Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: julien.ponthus.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net

A BIT OF M&A TO SPICE THINGS UP (0745 GMT)

As said below, there isn't much corporate action left in terms of earnings but thankfully, a little spike in M&A activity has emerged to spice things up.

Let's begin a with a Reuters exclusive reporting that Unilever and Henkel were considering bidding for beauty brands from U.S. cosmetics maker Coty.

Vivendi might be ready to offer an olive branch by selling part of its stake in Mediaset at a loss in an attempt to reach a deal to end years of bitter legal disputes with the Italian broadcaster.

After yesterday's fat finger moving its share price, there's a report in the Spanish press that Euronext has hired SocGen and Lazard for a possible bidding war for the Madrid bourse.

In Germany a consortium seeking to buy wholesaler Metro's <B4B.DE Real> chain has beefed up its offer for the hypermarkets.

The country biggest residential property firm, Vonovia, has seen its "full and final" offer for Sweden's Hembla rejected.

It's the other way around in terms of countries with Sweden's Pandox acquiring Hotel properties in Germany for 290 millions euros.

On a more administrative touch Roche has again extended the deadline for its tender offer for Spark Therapeutics, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday, saying U.S. and British anti-trust authorities needed more time to review the deal.

(Julien Ponthus)

*****


MORNING CALL: OFF LOWS? (0625 GMT)

European stock markets might just rise up from three-week lows at the open after a gentle recovery lifted Asian shares overnight over hopes (we've been there before though!) China and the United States will strike a preliminary trade deal.

Financial spreadbetters expect London's FTSE to open 25 points higher, Frankfurt's DAX to up 39 points and Paris' CAC to gain 13 points.

While it's quiet on the corporate earnings front with the season dying out, there's quite some action on the macro front with PMIs for France, Germany, euro zone and the UK.

"The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has caused an economic malaise in the UK, and investment has tapered off, so the reports will provide an insight into the health of the British economy", David Madden, a market analysts at CMC Markets wrote to his clients.

(Julien Ponthus)

***** (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Joice Alves, Julien Ponthus and Thyagaraju Adinarayan)