European Stocks Are Mixed; Steady Inflation in Eurozone

LONDON (The Deal) -- European markets were mixed Monday after a relatively strong performance in Asia overnight.

Eurozone inflation was stable at 0.5%. That still leaves the single currency area worryingly close to deflation, economists said, and increases the pressure on the European Central Bank to produce more stimulus measures in the future, in the hope of restarting bank lending. At the same time, the situation in the Middle East was leading to renewed fears of increased oil prices.

London's FTSE 100 was up 0.07% at 6,762.75 while in Paris the CAC40 was down 0.03 at 4,435. Frankfurt's DAX was up 0.32% 9,846.

Pharmaceuticals company Shire (SHPG) rose 0.44% to 4,590 pence in London this morning, on news of a $410 million Canadian tax refund, which may strengthen its hand as it fights off a $45 billion bid from Chicago rival AbbVie (ABBV).

A big riser this morning was electronics and health care group Amsterdam-listed Philips (PHG), which advanced 3.73% to 23.09 euros, after announcing plans to merge its LED components and automotive lighting divisions into a standalone subsidiary which may eventually be spun off. In Copenhagen, Danish wind-turbines maker Vestas was up nearly 5% on news of two big orders from the United States. Vestas will provide 450MW capacity for wind farms in New Mexico and Kansas.

Meanwhile in Paris, French bank BNP Paribas was up nearly 0.03%, as speculation mounted it may have won a six-months delay to the start of its dollar-clearing ban, although it will likely still face an $8.9 billion fine for U.S. sanctions-busting violations. The delay would help the bank prepare for the ban when it does come into force next year.

In London, small-cap newspaper group Mecom rose 33% to 152.25 pence after Belgian publisher De Persgroep agreed to buy the entire company for 155 pence a share, or 196 million pounds ($333 million).

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