Telcos, banks lift European shares, dollar dips

Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:00am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Nigel Stephenson

LONDON (Reuters) - European stocks rose on Monday, with gains in telecoms and banks offsetting a big fall in Unilever, while uncertainty over political developments and the timing of a U.S. interest rate hike kept the dollar in check.

U.S. markets were closed for the Presidents Day holiday, and this restricted activity in Europe and Asia.

Unilever (ULVR.L: Quote) shares fell nearly 9 percent at one point after U.S. food company Kraft Heinz Co (KHC.O: Quote) withdrew on Sunday a proposal for a merger with its larger rival in the face of stiff resistance.

The Anglo-Dutch group's shares were last down 7.4 percent and were the day's biggest fallers.

Despite that slide, the pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX edged up 0.1 percent to just below a 14-month high touched last week.

A 3 percent gain in Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE: Quote) helped push the index higher after a Reuters report that Japan's SoftBank (9984.T: Quote) is prepared to give up control of Sprint (S.N: Quote) to Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile US (TMUS.O: Quote) to clinch a merger of the two U.S. wireless carriers.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote) was the day's biggest gainer as shareholders welcomed a plan to scrap the proposed sale of its Williams & Glyn unit.

Earlier, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS edged up 0.2 percent and back toward a 19-month peak reached last week.   Continued...

Traders work at their desks in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 17, 2017. REUTERS/staff/remote