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Europe: Shares rise as ARM leads tech stocks higher

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 07:12
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[LONDON] European shares rose on Monday as technology stocks climbed after a bid for Britain's ARM , enabling markets to offset concerns over unrest in Turkey that weighed on some travel and financial stocks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 0.2 per cent.

The STOXX 600 is down around 7 per cent so far in 2016 but is 10 per cent above a low point reached in June after financial markets slumped in the immediate aftermath of Britain's shock vote on June 23 to leave the European Union.

Shares in ARM surged by more than 40 per cent after Japan's SoftBank agreed to buy the chip designer in a 24.3 billion pound (S$43.5 billion) deal.

ARM's peers, such as Dialog Semiconductor, AMS and Infineon also climbed, enabling the STOXX Europe 600 Technology sector to outperform with a 3.5 per cent rise.

Last month's shock 'Brexit' vote for Britain to quit the EU has pushed sterling down to its lowest level in more than three years against the yen, thereby making ARM more attractive to SoftBank.

Shares in ARM, which derives most of its earnings in US dollars, have also risen steadily since Brexit.

Phoebus Theologites, co-founder of multi-fund investment company SteppenWolf Capital, said pledges to support the market by the European Central Bank would continue to keep European equities propped up, while takeover deals such as the one for ARM would also buoy stock markets. "The explicit stance and rhetoric of the ECB continues to support risk assets and suppress volatility," he said.

However, shares in tour operators Thomas Cook and TUI both fell, as analysts saw an attempted coup in Turkey as hitting tourism companies for whom Turkey is a key holiday destination.

The unrest in Turkey also weighed on Spanish bank BBVA , whose shares fell due to BBVA's exposure to the country via its stake in Turkish bank Garanti.

Morgan Stanley's strategists kept an "underweight" position on European stocks, due partly to the impact from Brexit. "We see no reason to change our current underweight view on European equities after the UK's recent vote to leave the EU, ushering in a period of high uncertainty that is likely to persist through 2017 and dampen the growth outlook and equity valuations," they wrote in a research note.

REUTERS