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European shares take a breather near two-year highs
November 6, 2017 / 8:47 AM / 14 days ago

European shares take a breather near two-year highs

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares ended the day in positive territory on Monday after a session in which promising euro zone economic data and rising oil prices failed to offset some earnings and corporate news disappointment.

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians leave and enter the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose a little more than 0.1 percent to 396.59 points, within range of two-year highs.

“After the really good run we had, I think there is nothing bad about it if the market takes a breather,” said Tilmann Galler, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

Galler said that IHS Markit’s final composite Purchasing Managers’ Index for the euro zone in October was a positive signal for European stocks.

“We believe that the euro zone can keep up this above-trend growth in the coming quarters because the region has one advantage versus the U.S. economy -- the cycle is much younger,” he argued.

However, some results and negative developments on the corporate front disappointed investors.

Energy company SBM Offshore (SBMO.AS) sank 13.8 percent after taking a $238 million provision to settle a U.S. investigation over a Latin American bribery case.

The company said that a preliminary settlement reached with Brazilian authorities had fallen through and it would no longer be able to participate in tenders for Petrobras (PETR4.SA), one of its largest customers.

The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Staff/Remote

Chemical and oil storage company Vopak (VOPA.AS) fell 6.1 percent after profit missed expectations and it lowered earnings guidance for the full year, citing weaker occupancy rates and higher costs.

Other energy stocks benefited after crude prices soared to their highest since July 2015.

Among gainers, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.AS) rose by close to 1.5 percent to finish at a record high.

Shares in Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) dropped 2.6 percent to the bottom of the DAX after an attempt by its T-Mobile U.S. unit to merge with Sprint Corp (S.N) collapsed at the weekend.

The technology sector .SX8P, meanwhile, was up 0.8 percent after a boost from a potential $103 billion megadeal in the chip sector. The news also lifted the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Broadcom (AVGO.O) made an unsolicited $103 billion bid for Qualcomm (QCOM.O) on Monday, setting the stage for a major takeover battle as the chip maker looks to dominate the fast-growing market for semiconductors used in mobile phones.

Euro zone lenders .SX7E were down 0.9 percent, with investors exercising greater caution on the sector. Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) was among the worst performers with a 3.7 percent fall.

A string of target price cuts from JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Kepler Cheuvreux and Natixis have hit the French banks.

Spain's IBEX index .IBEX fell 0.4 percent, lagging most European peers after sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont turned himself in to Belgian authorities while weekend polls showed parties favoring Catalan independence would be likely to win December's regional election.

Reporting by Helen Reid and Julien Ponthus; Editing by John Stonestreet and David Goodman

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