European markets were largely higher on Tuesday amid a rash of data and corporate news, including deal maneuvers by German chemicals group Bayer (BAYRY) and healthcare provider Fresenius
The FTSE 100 was recently down 0.11% at 6,871.97, while the Dax in Frankfurt was up 0.28% at 10,702.23. In Paris the Cac 40 was up 0.20% at 4,550.06.
S&P 500 mini futures were recently up 0.03% and Dow Jones futures were up 0.08%.
Oil continued to rise on hopes of imminent curbs in production, with West Texas Intermediate recently up 1.24% at $44.99.
In Frankfurt Fresenius was up 4% after its hospitals division agreed to spend €5.76 billion ($6.4 billion) buying Spain's leading private hospitals operator, IDC Salud, from CVC Capital Partners.
Bayer slipped about 1% in Frankfurt after late Monday news that it's in advanced talks about buying Monsanto (MON) having raised its bid. It said the discussions center on an offer of up to $127.50 per share, or $56 billion for all the equity. That's a 2% increase over the bid Monsanto rejected in July.
In Paris Ingenico plunged 11% after the payment systems group cut 2016 forecasts for organic revenue and Ebitda growth. It attributed its problems to payment-system rule changes in the U.S. and difficult macroeconomic conditions in Brazil.
In London Sports Direct rose 2% after publishing an initial report on working practices after institutional investors pushed it to launch a review. The company said it had uncovered "serious shortcomings."
Homebuilders were among the main gainers in London.
The high-end housebuilder Berkeley Group was up 3.8% in London after reiterating full-year and 2018 profit guidance and saying the residential real estate market has returned to the levels of the first five months of the year after a Brexit blip. The company dropped out of the FTSE 100 last week. It said pricing "has remained resilient and above business plan levels.."
Rival Redrow was up more than 5% after reporting "very encouraging sales" for the first 10-weeks of the financial year and full-year results featuring a 20% increase in revenue to a record £1.38 billion ($1.84 billion).
3D printer maker Arcam rose more than 53% in Stockholm and peer SLM Solutions rose 38% in Frankfurt after the companies agreed to be bought by GE (GE - Get Report) . GE will pay a combined $1.4 billion for the two groups.
Among economic data out today came news that German June factory orders grew a below-forecast 0.2% on the month, less than half the rate analysts had anticipated, after a 0.3% decline (revised down from 0.4%) in June.Germany's Federal Statistical Office releases the wider, and more closely watched, industrial output report for July tomorrow. Analysts had been looking 0.2% growth in German output, after a 0.8% increase in July, before today's factory bulletin.
Swiss government data showed second-quarter GDP rose by an annual 2%, well over the 0.9% anticipated, and climbed 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, above the 0.4% predicted. Government figures also revised up first-quarter GDP growth, to 1.1% and 0.3%, respectively.
Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium/KPMG August retail sales monitor unexpectedly fell, with same-store sales declining 0.9% after 1.1% monthly growth in July. That compared with the 1.4% increase analysts had expected and contrasts with recent upbeat indicators of post-Brexit-vote consumer demand from institutions including the Confederation of British Industry, market research group GfK and IHS Markit.
Later today the European Union publishes its second estimate of second-quarter GDP. That is expected to confirm quarter-on-quarter eurozone growth of 0.3% and year-on-year growth of 1.6%.
Asian markets had largely closed higher, though the S&P/ASX 200 bucked the trend to close down 0.29% after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept the cash rate unchanged at 1.5%, citing a lower than expected inflation outlook.