LONDON (The Deal) -- European markets were taking a more positive view Monday of a likely U.S. rate rise next week as well as coming to terms with the European Central Bank's less dramatic-than-expected stimulus package last week. Measured remarks by ECB President Mario Draghi, who's been hoping to repair some of the dents in his reputation as "Super Mario," have also helped take the steam out of the euro, which has dropped back against the dollar after last week's rise.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.54% at 6,272.27, while in Frankfurt, the DAX was up 1.86% at 10,951.58. In Paris, the CAC40 was up 1.7% at 4,795.15.
In Stockholm, domestic appliances maker Electrolux (ELUXY) was down over 12.5% at Skr209.10 after General Electric (GE) - Get Report broke off a $3.3 billion deal to sell its appliance business to the Swedish company. Electrolux will now have to pay GE a termination fee of $175 million and the fourth quarter will also be impacted by Skr225 million ($2.94 million) of costs rising from a bridge facility intended to finance the deal.
In London services outsourcer Serco Group (SECCY) took a big hit, despite revising upwards its trading profit forecast for the year from £90 million ($135.5 million) to £95 million. That's because of the sale to Blackstone Group of its India-based business process outsourcing business, which does business as Intelenet. The £250 million deal, announced in September, is expected to close in the coming weeks. In a trading update this morning, Serco said both revenue and trading profit will decline in 2016 reflecting the BPO disposal and net contract attrition. But net debt following the close will be brought down to £100 million from £300 million and the company expects further cost savings next year. The share tumbled to below 100 pence in early trading, but recovered part of the loss by mid-morning to reach 106.7 pence, down 6.7% on Friday's close.
Defense group Meggitt also dipped and then recovered -- reaching positive territory by mid-morning, despite warning that the tough times would continue into next year. However, it has reversed earlier forecasts of a profits slide to say it now expected to show "organic growth in single digits" in FY2016. Meggitt was up 0.16% at 377.6 pence.
French shipping line CMA CGM said it is in exclusive talks to buy Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines (NPTOY) for S$3.38 billion ($2.4 billion), creating a container shipping line with stronger Asian and U.S. routes that narrows the gap with market leader A.P. Moeller-Maersk. The talks are with Neptune Orient and Lentor Investments (Pte.) Ltd., a vehicle of Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings Pte. Trading in the Neptune Orient share has been halted on the Singapore exchange.
Australian mineral sands mining company Iluka Resources dropped a bid for its Irish competitor Kenmare Resources after a courtship of nearly 18 months, as the value of the target has dwindled in the prevailing commodities slump. Kenmare's stock rose close to 50% in London on the news to 0.64 pence.
Also in Australia, electrical and mechanical services provider Broadspectrum surged 47.65% to A$1.26 per share, and a market cap of A$643 million ($470 million), following a A$1.35 a share offer from Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, which values the stock of Broadspectrum, formerly known as Transfield Services Ltd., at A$715 million. Ferrovial's share was up 0.81% this morning at €21.77.
Japan's Nikkei 225 finished the day up 0.99% at 19,698.15, while the Topix index was up 0.71% at 1,585.21. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng bucked the regional trend, closing down 0.15% at 22,203.22, while in China, the combined Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 finished up 0.27% at 3,687.607. In Australia, Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 closed just in positive territory, up 0.08% at 5,155.70.