IFM Web Desk – Stocks in Europe were little changed after three consecutive weeks of losses, as China’s export growth tumbled to a 10-month low. U.S. index futures and Asian shares gained.
Severn Trent Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest publicly traded water company, retreated 4.9 percent after rejecting a takeover offer. Elan Corp. climbed to a 10-month high after instructing advisers at Citigroup Inc. to assess several “unsolicited corporate enquiries.”
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.1 percent to 295.09 at 8:08 a.m. in London. The gauge has fallen 5 percent since May 22 amid speculation the Federal Reserve will reduce its bond-buying program as the U.S. economy strengthens. Reports in America this week may show retail sales climbed in May and business inventories increased in April, according to surveys of economists.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.3 percent today. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.4 percent as Japan’s Topix jumped 5.2 percent.
China’s export growth plummeted to a 10-month low in May and imports unexpectedly fell as a crackdown on fake trade invoices exposed weakness in global demand.
Overseas sales rose 1 percent from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said in Beijing on June 8, trailing 35 of 38 analysts’ estimates in a survey and down from April’s 14.7 percent pace. Imports dropped 0.3 percent, leaving a trade surplus of $20.4 billion.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said euro-area nations must follow Germany’s lead in tightening budgets and reshaping labor markets to return to growth as she seeks to stave off any crisis eruptions before elections in September. As European leaders struggle to stanch recession and unemployment, Merkel said in her weekly podcast on June 8 that the region’s 17 member states must stick to a recipe of budget discipline and improving competitiveness.
Severn Trent slid 4.9 percent to 1,968 pence. Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc. and its partners in the LongRiver group abandoned a 5.3 billion-pound ($8.2 billion) offer for Severn Trent after the U.K. water utility declined to negotiate with the group.
“The Severn Trent board has shown no interest in discussing our pre-conditional offer with us,” Borealis Chief Executive Officer Michael Rolland said in a statement today. “In the absence of any such engagement, there will be no further proposal from the consortium.”
Elan advanced 2.8 percent to 10.25 euros, the highest since July 23, 2012. The board instructed its advisers to assess “unsolicited” enquiries after unanimously rejecting Royalty Pharma’s $6.7 billion takeover.