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European Stocks Edge Lower; Focus Turns to M&A: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — Stocks in Europe edged lower and U.S. futures were mixed as investors settled into a holding pattern, awaiting new catalysts. Treasuries were steady and the dollar was little changed after Thursday’s gyrations.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index opened 0.1% lower, with cyclical industries including travel and real estate the biggest fallers. Although activity on major gauges were modest, there were big moves in single-name stocks caught up in a wave of M&A activity.

German plastics maker Covestro AG gained more than 9% after Bloomberg reported it’s being targeted by buyout firm Apollo Global Management Inc. CaixaBank SA rose after reaching a deal to buy Bankia SA to create Spain’s biggest lender. Roche Holding AG climbed after saying its Actemra drug reduced the need for ventilation in patients with Covid-19.

S&P 500 futures fluctuated after the U.S. index dropped for a second day, though it did find some support after bouncing off its 50-day moving average. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 rose.

Investors are on the lookout for more U.S. fiscal stimulus after the Federal Reserve indicated this week that interest rates will stay low for years to come. Meanwhile, data continues to show a patchy recovery path around the world as coranavirus infections are surging again across Europe after governments eased restrictions. France’s daily cases rose by more than 10,000 to the highest since the end of lockdown in May. Britain has clamped down on social gatherings of more than six people and is reportedly considering wider curbs.

“The market is somehow uninspired following recent central bank meetings,” said Robert Greil, chief strategist at Merck Finck Privatbankiers AG. “It is waiting for the next support step, be it from their side or regarding the U.S. fiscal program to be agreed finally.”

Asian shares rounded out their first positive week in September on low volumes, driven by gains in China. Stocks in China accounted for the bulk of gains in Asia Pacific on Friday. Declines at Tencent Holdings Ltd. limited an advance on Hong Kong’s bourse after a report the Trump administration has asked gaming companies to hand over information about their data-security protocols involving the Chinese tech giant.

Elsewhere, gold climbed. Crude oil was trading higher above $41 a barrel and is up 10% this week.

These are some of the main moves in markets:


Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed as of 8:27 a.m. in London.Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.4%The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.1%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.5%.


The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.1%.The euro bought $1.1868, up 0.2%.The British pound was little changed at $1.2977.The yen was at 104.65 per dollar, down 0.1%.


The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 0.69%.Germany’s 10-year yield rose one basis point to -0.48%.The U.K.’s 10-year yield climbed one basis point to 0.2%.


West Texas Intermediate crude was at $41.47 a barrel,…

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