European M&A helps distract from trade war nervousness


European shares rose yesterday, led by NEX Group as it jumped after a takeover offer, but stocks ended the week with a slight loss as worries about a trade war and geopolitical tensions kept investors on edge.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 0.24pc at 377.79 points and lost 0.1pc on the week.

Worries about a possible trade war have hung over equities since US President Donald Trump announced this month that he would introduce tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, while a shake-up of the president’s cabinet has also dampened the mood.

“We have become a little bit more tepid on European stocks as the year progresses,” Gautam Batra, head of investments at Mediolanum Asset Management, said.

Deal-making added some spice to trading, with exchange operator NEX Group soaring 30.3pc following a preliminary takeover offer from US rival CME Group.

However, shares in UK housebuilder Berkeley Group fell 5.3pc after it said it can’t boost building volumes beyond current plans.

In Dublin the Iseq was down 0.21pc at 6,693.94. Under-pressure sandwich maker Greencore shares were boosted in London in a late rally, closing up more than 4.4pc having fallen almost 3pc  early in the session.

Tullow Oil closed an issue of $800m of 7pc, seven year bonds after increasing the deal from $650m. The funds are to refinance debt due in 2020.