Europe stocks dip early; M&A in focus

PARIS, April 4 (Reuters) – European stocks slipped in early
trade on Monday, retreating from three-week highs hit in the
previous session, but the losses were limited by optimism after
a series of M&A deals.

At 0708 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: Quote, Profile, Research) index of top
European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,140.55 points, after
gaining 1.5 percent on Friday.

Shares in chemical group Rhodia (RHA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) jumped 50 percent
after Solvay (SOLB.BR: Quote, Profile, Research) launched a bid for its French rival,
while Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.6 percent after selling its 44
percent stake in France’s second-biggest telecom operator SFR to
Vivendi (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research).

“The newsflow coming from the M&A front is very welcome.
We’ve been expecting it for a while, so it’s a very good start
for the quarter,” said David Thebault, head of quantitative
sales trading, at Global Equities in Paris.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson)

Europe stocks dip early; M&A in focus