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Europe: Shares edge higher, take a breather after global rally


[LONDON] European shares opened slightly higher on Wednesday, losing some of the momentum that pushed stocks in Asia and on Wall Street to new highs overnight on continued faith in synchronised economic growth around the world.

The STOXX 600 benchmark was up 0.1 per cent by 0842 GMT with most European bourses trading in positive territory.

Norwegian media group Schibsted posted the sharpest decline of the index after an offering of B-shares to finance mergers and acquisitions in online classifieds. Its shares retreated 8.2 per cent.

Akzo Nobel rose 1.7 per cent after Nippon Paint made an all-cash offer on US coatings company Axalta , ending talks to create what had been described as a merger of equals between Akzo and Axalta.

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The FTSE was up 0.2 per cent, about four hours before British finance minister Philip Hammond presents his budget, under pressure to help unhappy voters as the country faces faltering economic growth.

On the domestic UK corporate front, SSP Group, which operates restaurants and bars at travel locations, posted one of the best performance for European blue-chips with a 6.7 percent jump after beating expectations for full-year results and proposing a special dividend.