Europe midday: Exor PartnerRe talks, TSB bid rebuff please investors
European shares were up on Monday as investors sat on the sidelines ahead of another raft of big corporate earnings reports.
The pan-European Stoxx followed a similar session in Asia, where markets made small advances as the spectre of China Evergrande's $300bn debt mountain still looms large. The index was up 0.11% by midday.
"Evergrande, having made an offshore coupon payment in a nick of time on Friday, faces another in four days’ time on 29 October," said Oanda analyst Jeffrey Halley.
"Its chairman has said work has restarted on property projects in China, and it is going big on its EV division in the decade ahead. Where all that money is coming from, I know not, and markets seem to be sharing the same thoughts."
Eyes will be on results from the likes of Facebook later today and Lloyds Bank and German peer Deutsche Bank during the week.
Oil and copper prices rose, giving miners a lift, while in other equity news, Anglo-Asia bank HSBC gained after third quarter profits rose 74% and a $2bn share buyback was unveiled as it released $700m in bad debt provision set aside to cover losses from the Covid pandemic..
On the data front, Germany’s Ifo Institute business climate survey showed supply chain problems continued to weigh on Europe’s largest economy in October. The Ifo Business Climate Index, published Monday, fell to 97.7 this month from 98.9 in September, with companies increasingly pessimistic across services, manufacturing and trade.
Shares in Exor, the holding company of Italy's Agnelli family, rose to the top of the Stoxx with a 6% gain, on reports it had entered new talks on selling reinsurer PartnerRe to French mutual insurer Covea after a potential $9bn was called off last year.
Shares in TSB owner Banco Sabadell rose after it confirmed it had rejected a bid approach from the Co-op for the British banking chain.
Swedish steelmaker SSAB gained after reporting third-quarter earnings above estimates, helped by surging steel prices.
UniCredit fell 3.6% after the Italian government and the bank ended talks over the sale of troubled Tuscan bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena, hitting attempts to return the bank to private hands.