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European shares fall as miners, autos decline but SABMiller soars

Europe's main stock markets opened steadily on Thursday, with trading expected to be quiet amid the US Thanksgiving holiday.

[MILAN] European shares opened slightly lower on Tuesday, following losses in Asia overnight, although SABMiller soared after accepting a 68 billion-pounds (US$104.48 billion) takeover proposal from rival Anheuser-Busch .

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.8 per cent while the eurozone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 dropped 1 per cent.

Miners and auto sector stocks were the top sectoral fallers in early trading and investors were also awaiting the ZEW investor sentiment readings for October later on Tuesday.

SABMiller rose 9 per cent and Anheuser-Busch was up 3.8 per cent. SABMiller said it had indicated to AB InBev that its board would be prepared to accept the offer and said it had asked for a two-week extension to Oct 28 of a deadline set for its rival to announce a firm intention to bid.

SAP was 4.8 per cent higher after Europe's biggest software maker on Tuesday reported a 19 per cent rise in third-quarter operating profit, beating the most optimistic analyst estimate.

But LVMH fell 3 per cent after the luxury goods industry leader posted a mixed set of third-quarter revenue figures that revealed a strong rebound in cognac sales, particularly in China, but a slowdown at its key fashion and leather business.