Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:
Engineering giant in $5bn takeover
Engineering software maker Aveva (AVV.L) has announced a $5bn (£4bn) deal to buy Californian company OSIsoft.
Aveva chief executive Craig Hayman said the takeover would “enable Aveva to broaden and deepen its relationships with existing and new customers and bring a more comprehensive product portfolio to market.”
Aveva sells software to industrial and engineering firms to help them visualise and plan projects. OSIsoft is a data management company.
“The acquisition of OSIsoft is perfectly in line with our strategic vision and it will accelerate the enlarged group’s role in the digitisation of the industrial world, which is being driven by a need for sustainability, the industrial internet of things, cloud, data visualisation and artificial intelligence,” Hayman said.
OSIsoft has around 1,400 employees and its systems are used on 14,000 sites in 127 different countries. It helps customers collect and analyse their data. Users range from large oil companies and miners to pharmaceutical giants.
The company had revenues of $488.5m (£373m) in the 12 months to 30 June and pulled in adjusted earnings of $152.2m (£116m).
Shares in Aveva rose 2%.
Stocks continued to rise on Tuesday, boosted by an encouraging statement from the US trade negotiator’s office on the US-China trade deal.
US trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer and his Chinese counterpart held a call on Monday to review the progress of the “Phase One” trade deal signed in January.
“Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement,” the Office of the United States Trade Representative said in a statement.
Risk appetite remained strong on Wall Street. S&P 500 futures (ES=F) were up 0.4%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM=F) were 0.6% higher, and Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) rose 0.3%. The pre-market action suggests US stock markets could continue to break new ground on record highs, extending recent runs.
Action in Asia overnight was mixed. Japan’s Nikkei (^225) rallied strongly, gaining 1.3%, but Chinese markets were muted. The Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) slipped 0.5%, while the Shenzen Component (399001.SZ) and the Hong Kong Hang Seng (^HSI) were both flat.
Europe’s largest economy contracted by 9.7% in the second quarter of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019, as the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns devastated economic activity to a record quarterly low.
The federal statistics office said on Tuesday that the German state booked a budget deficit of €51.6bn (£46.6bn, $61bn) in the first six months of 2020. Its data shows a very slight improvement on the earlier flash GDP reading at the end of July, which had showed a 10.1% contraction.
Investments excluding construction fell by 19.6%, exports by over 20% and private consumption by 10.9%. The only growth was in government consumption, which saw an 1.5% quarter-on-quarter increase in the April to June period.
AstraZeneca (AZN.L) has launched a new trial of an antibody therapy it hopes could prevent and treat the coronavirus.
It comes as the UK biopharmaceutical giant also said its separate potential vaccine, created in partnership with the University of Oxford, could be sent to regulators for approval this year if clinical trials progress as hoped.
The new first-phase trial is for AZD7442, a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) which mimic natural antibodies and neutralise the virus.
The first of up to 48 healthy adults in the UK trial have now received doses. The project is funded by the US government, according to a statement released by AstraZeneca on Monday.
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