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STOXX 600 Slips on Tech and Bank Weakness; Carlsberg Bid Rejected

European shares declined on Friday, weighed down by losses in technology and banking sectors, while Danish brewer Carlsberg Group (CSE) faced a significant drop following Britvic’s rejection of its revised $3.9 billion takeover offer.


The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.3% as of 0814 GMT, with the technology sub-index down approximately 1% and euro zone banks slipping 1.3%.


Carlsberg Group plummeted nearly 8% after Britvic dismissed its takeover bid, stating the offer “significantly undervalued” the company and its future prospects. Meanwhile, Britvic shares surged more than 11% on the news.


Despite the day’s decline, the STOXX 600 was set for modest weekly gains, bouncing back from a more than 2% drop last week when markets reacted to French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for a snap parliamentary election.

We are gingerly recovering, but the volatility will remain with regards to the French elections going forward until the first date of the election,” noted Axel Rudolph, senior market analyst at IG Group.

In economic data, German business activity slowed in June and France’s services sector contracted more than expected for the same period. Additionally, a broader euro zone reading indicated that business growth in the bloc decelerated sharply this month, experiencing a drop in demand for the first time since February.

Following the data release earlier in the day, government bond yields across Europe slipped, while the euro dipped 0.1% against the dollar.

In the UK, strong retail sales data showed a sharp rebound last month, recovering from a revised 1.8% decline in April. The FTSE 100, however, was down 0.3% at 8251.94 points.

Global investors maintained a cautious stance after declines in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq overnight, despite an initial rally in U.S. bellwether Nvidia (NASDAQ) that appeared to fade.

“If we were to see some profit-taking in the U.S. markets today, that would probably drag down European indexes,” Rudolph added.

Elsewhere, Denmark’s Zealand Pharma (NASDAQ) surged 19.6% following positive results from an early-stage study of its drug, which showed significant weight reduction benefits. Conversely, British retailer B&M fell 1.6% after a downgrade by Morgan Stanley from “equal-weight” to “underweight”.

Shares of Swiss engineering group ABB (ST) declined about 3% after Deutsche Bank downgraded the company to “sell”.

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