Europe midday: Shares continue rally with UK landlords in focus
European stocks continued to rally at lunchtime on Monday, recovering from big losses last week as upbeat corporate news and positive data from China boosted sentiment.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 2%, with Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC 40 and the UK’s FTSE 100 all higher. The pound was 1.3% higher against the dollar at 1.2909 ahead of the resumption of Brexit talks on hopes of a trade deal.
Meanwhile, official data showed profits at China’s industrial firms grew in August for the fourth month in a row, lifted by a rebound in commodity prices and equipment manufacturing.
Total profits at industrial businesses above a certain size rose 19.1% to 612.81bn yuan (£70bn) from a year earlier, China's statistics bureau said. Growth was broadly in line with the 19.6% increase in July and was the fourth-straight month of recovery from the closure of the economy during the coronavirus crisis.
In corporate news shares in HSBC were more than 9% higher as China’s Ping An Insurance lifted its stake to 8% from 7.95%. The bank last week saw its stock fall to their lowest since 1995 on the back of report on alleged money laundering activities at major global banks.
UK property shares were in focus, with Great Portland Estates a high riser after private equity firm KKR bought a 5.35% stake in the landlord for around £74m. This boosted the sector, with Land Securities, British Land and Hammerson all up on the news.
Shares in Sonova, the world's biggest hearing aid maker, rose after the company lifted guidance and forecast a return to growth in the second half of the next fiscal year as business activities picked up faster than anticipated, supported by the ongoing recovery of the global market from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
William Hill fell 12% to 272.5p as Caesars Entertainment on Monday confirmed it was in advanced talks with the UK bookmaker on a 272p-a-share offer, valuing the company at £2.9bn.
Shares in William Hill soared on Friday when it revealed Caesars Entertainment and private equity group Apollo each were talking about placing separate bids.
ArcelorMittal shares jumped more than 9% after Cleveland-Cliffs agreed to buy its US assets for about $1.4bn.
Diageo rallied after saying it made a good start to the current financial year as the drinks company's US business beat expectations. The maker of Johnny Walker whisky and Guinness beer said its outlook had improved since the end of June. Sales improved compared to the second half of last year but sales and margins will be lower than in the first half of last year.