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European stocks were higher; Telecom Italia soars

European stock markets traded higher on Monday, as M&A speculation helped markets start the week on a positive note and eased the return of Covid-induced restrictions on Europe. green.



At 3:45 a.m. ET (0845 GMT), Germany's DAX was trading 0.1% higher, France's CAC 40 was also up 0.4% and the UK's FTSE 100 was up 0.4%.

The main equity indexes in Europe have been showing strength for quite some time, boosted by strong corporate earnings and the European Central Bank's help against the temptation to join the list. An increasing number of central banks are tightening monetary policy. That pushed the euro to a 16-month low against the dollar and a 21-month low against the pound.


Investors will study the return of Covid-19 restrictions to the region, with Austria starting its fourth national lockdown since the start of the pandemic.

The move is intended to prevent infection before mandatory vaccinations begin in February. That would be the first policy in Europe, where governments mostly keep vaccinations voluntary.



Neighboring Germany also refused to rule out a Friday lockdown, while the likes of Ireland and the Netherlands encouraged working from home to try to stem the spread of the virus.

If Europe as a whole is forced into these extreme restrictions again, investors will have to rethink growth scenarios and expectations for fourth-quarter earnings.

In the corporate sector, shares of Telecom Italia (MI: TLIT) jumped 24% after the company confirmed over the weekend that it received 10.8 billion euros ($12 billion) approach from KKR fund of the US to take the place of Italy. Other incumbents also rose, with shares of BT Group (LON:BT) up 3.2% and Telefonica (MC:TEF) up 4.1%. Shares of Netherlands-based Koninklijke KPN (AS: KPN) rose 2.4%.



On the other hand, shares of Ericsson (BS:ERICAs) fell 3.4% after the Swedish mobile telecom equipment maker agreed to buy cloud communications company Vonage (NASDAQ:VG) for 6.2 billion dollars. Shares of Marks & Spencer rose 3.5% to a new 2 1/2-year high after a report suggested that private equity firm Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO) may be preparing a buy it.

In earnings news, shares of Julius Baer (SIX:BAER) fell about 4% after the Swiss bank reported a drop in gross margins, reflecting a drop in customer activity relative to exceptionally high levels. witnessed last year.


Crude oil prices edged higher on Monday, recovering some extent from last week's sharp sell-off.

On Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida signaled he was ready to release oil from the country's strategic reserves, joining a group of top consumers on demand from the US last week.







Before 3:45 a.m. ET, US crude futures were 0.9% higher at $76.62 a barrel, while the Brent contract was up 0.8% to $79.54. Both benchmarks hit their lowest levels since early October earlier in the session, having fallen about 3% on Friday.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,847.80/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.1277.





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