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Market Update

European Markets Gain; Drug-Makers in Focus

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European markets gained Tuesday as they returned from the Easter break and as a couple of big-deal merger and acquisition news hogged the spotlight.

The FTSE was up 0.9%. The CAC 40 Paris added 0.7% while the German DAX gained 1.1%.

Oil prices remained at high levels on continued tensions over Ukraine.

Stocks on the Move

AstraZeneca PLC surged 6.6% in London after The Sunday Times said U.S. pharma major Pfizer had approached its British rival for a 60 billion pound takeover. Both companies have not commented on the report so far.

GlaxoSmithKline was up 5.4% after it sold its oncology unit to Swiss firm Novartis for $14.5 billion. GSK is also to buy the Basel-based company’s vaccines business, excluding flu, for $7.1 billion plus royalties.

Over in Switzerland, Novartis gained 2.4% after it said it would dispose its animal health business in a separate transaction to NYSE-listed Eli Lilly for $5.4 billion cash.

In Amsterdam, Philips fell about 7% after it reported a bigger-than-expected fall in quarterly operating profit.

Hotelier Accor SA was down 0.6% after it said second-quarter revenue would continue to be depressed same as the first quarter due to difficulties in its core French market.

Rouhan Sharma does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.