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Europe: Shares fall on ECB concerns, Tesco soars

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[MILAN] European shares fell on Wednesday on concerns over the outlook of the European Central Bank's (ECB) bond buying programme, while Tesco soared on a well-received earnings update.

The Stoxx 600 was down 0.9 per cent by 0715 GMT, with all sectors trading in the red and following a rise of 0.8 per cent in the previous session. The pan-European index remains down around 6 per cent so far this year.

Bloomberg reported late on Tuesday that the ECB will probably gradually wind down bond purchases before the conclusion of quantitative easing, rattling global markets.

Tesco rose 7 per cent after touching its highest level in more than a year. In addition, the UK retailer posted first-half results at the top end of expectations and said it would increase investment to boost profitability over the next three years.

Telecoms group SFR fell 6.4 per cent after France's market watchdog blocked an all-share buyout offer from rival Altice, while insurer NN Group fell 3.6 per cent after launching a bid for smaller peer Delta Lloyd.

Delta Lloyd soared 28 per cent, remaining just a touch below NN's offer price.


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