European Benchmarks Fall, But London Bucks Trend on Takeover Activity

European benchmarks fell on Friday as the so-called Trump-trade appeared to fade, but London bucked the trend among its continental cousins after drawing a boost from takeover activity and the recovery of formerly ex-dividend stocks.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.30% higher at 7,299 while the DAX in Germany was flat at 11,757 and the CAC 40 in France fell by 0.65% to 4,867.

In London, Unilever (UL) saw its stock soar by more than 13% on Friday after Kraft Heinz (HNZ) announced that it has made a comprehensive offer to the consumer goods company.

Unilever has rejected the offer and dismissed the idea of engaging in further talks. In a possible throwback to the controversial Kraft-Cadbury takeover of 2009, the U.S. suitor told investors that it looks forward to engaging further with the company and being able to agree to a deal.

The news prompted a broad rally across the consumer goods and healthcare space, sending Reckitt Benckiser (RBGLY) close to the top of the FTSE 100 after the shares gained 2.8%.

Astrazeneca (AZN) also stock rose on Friday after the company said that its Lynparza drug fared well in clinical trials of its effectiveness as a breast cancer treatment.

The announcement came just a day after the FDA granted approval for Siliq, a psoriasis treatment, which triggered a $130 million payment from development partner Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) .

Elsewhere in the world, markets were weighed down by a weak banking sector, which was hit particularly hard by renewed concerns over the durability of the Trump administration.

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