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European Shares Inch Higher After Steep Selloff

stockmarkets aug17 25feb20 lt

European stocks opened on a positive note Tuesday after suffering their biggest slump since mid-2016 the previous day on worries about the coronavirus outbreak that has spread far beyond China to Europe and the Middle East.

On the data front, the second estimate of fourth quarter German GDP published today showed that Europe's largest economy remained in stagnation in the fourth quarter of 2019 due to Brexit uncertainty and international trade conflicts.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.3 percent to 412.98 after plunging as much as 3.8 percent in the previous session. The German DAX, France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were up between 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent.

Leoni AG shares slumped 8 percent. The provider of energy and data management solutions in the automotive market reported 2019 preliminary sales of 4.8 billion euros, lower than prior year's 5.1 billion euros.

Norwegian energy company Equinor advanced 1.3 percent. The company, formerly Statoil ASA, said that it has decided to discontinue its exploration drilling plan in the Ceduna sub-basin, offshore South Australia, as the project's potential is not commercially competitive.

Supermarket giant Tesco edged up slightly after announcing the sale of its 20 percent share in Gain Land to a unit of its JV partner, China Resources.

Dutch consumer electronics giant Philips Electronics NV dropped 1 percent. The company said it is another step closer to becoming carbon-neutral in its own operations in 2020, with its U.S. and Dutch facilities now 100 percent-powered by renewable electricity.

Spanish utility Iberdrola S.A. rose about half a percent. The company said it would start a new share buyback program, which will repurchase about 1.57 billion euros of its shares.

Prudential rallied 2.5 percent after a U.S. hedge fund and activist investor took a near-$2bn (£1.5bn) stake in the London-based insurer Prudential and called for it to separate into two companies.

Hammerson, a British property development and investment company, added 1.5 percent despite posting a wider loss for the full year 2019, reflecting higher revaluation losses on properties and other net losses.

AstraZeneca was moving lower. The drug major said it has agreed to sublicense its global rights to Movantik, a peripherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist indicated for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation, to RedHill Biopharma.

Airline stocks were moving higher after taking their biggest hit on Monday. Lufthansa was marginally higher, easyJet gained half a percent and Ryanair rose 1.5 percent.

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