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Healthcare

LIVE MARKETS-Opening snapshot: Stoxx 600 down, Experian and M&S shine

* European futures in negative territory Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters. You can share your thoughts Joice Alves (joice.alves@thomsonreuters.com) and Julien Ponthus (julien.ponthus@thomsonreuters.com) in London and Stefano Rebaudo (stefano.rebaudo@thomsonreuters.com) in Milan.

OPENING SNAPSHOT: STOXX 600 DOWN, EXPERIAN AND M&S SHINE (0740 GMT)

Stocks are edging lower as investors continue to worry about the economic impact of the pandemic, while nvestors also digest another batch of earnings reports.

The pan European index is down 0.6% with banks leading the losses, down more than 2%. The healthcare sector is the best performer, up 0.8%.

Shares in Marks & Spencer jumped 3.8% in earlier trade, after the company said it would accelerate its turnaround programme.

Experian are up 5.4% to the top of the STOXX, after it forecast Q1 organic revenue to decline just by 5% to 10%.

AstraZeneca shares are also in positive territory after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its Merck’s Lynparza as a treatment for a form of prostate cancer.

(Stefano Rebaudo)

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ON THE RADAR: ROLLS ROYCE, RABOBANK, TOTAL, EXPERIAN (0646 GMT)

European stocks are expected to open lower as investors are still uncertain about how deep the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy will be in the medium term.

On the corporate front we have the second large oil and gas deal to be revised in the wake oil price slump after BP delayed some payments to, and received vendor financing from, Hilcorp last month.

Total revised a previously agreed deal to sell its British North Sea oilfields, which would result in Oman’s Petrogas pulling out of the transaction.

Rolls-Royce will need to lay-off at least 9,000 of its 52,000 staff to make annual cost savings of 1.3 billion pounds.

Dutch lender Rabobank foresees around 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in additional loan provisions in 2020. HSBC Holdings expects to achieve double-digit asset growth in its newly combined wealth business in Asia Pacific in the next three years.

World’s biggest credit data company Experian expects first-quarter organic revenue to decline by 5% to 10% if coronavirus-related restrictions continue.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AstraZeneca and Merck’s Lynparza as a treatment for a form of prostate cancer.

Marks & Spencer said it would accelerate its latest turnaround program, after reporting a 21% fall in annual profit.

Lufthansa is bracing for hundreds of aircraft to remain grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic well into 2022 and that further job cuts.

Renault has sealed a deal with banks on a 5 billion-euro ($5.47 billion) state-guaranteed loan to help the company to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

Shares in Aareal Bank up 4.2% in premarket after it invited bids for minority stake in its Aareon unit.

(Stefano Rebaudo)

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MORNING CALL: STILL WORRIED ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THE VIRUS (0635)

European futures are pointing to an open slightly in the red, but with no clear direction as investors continue to swing between optimism over some easing in lockdowns and anxiety about a worse than expected impact over the economy.

Wall Street lost ground overnight after a report said the Moderna experimental COVID-19 vaccine did not provide the critical data needed to assess its effectiveness.

Asian stocks were mostly flat but a soft yen supported the Japan blue chip index Nikkei which closed up 1.2%.

Crude futures are in positive territory, amid signs of improving demand.

(Stefano Rebaudo)

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Reporting by Joice Alves, Julien Ponthus, Stefano Rebaudo and Thyagaraju Adinarayan

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