European stocks retreat after firm surge

European stocks retreat after firm surge

On Thursday, European equities took a breather, having reached an eight-month maximum in the previous trading marathon, with banking mergers in the spotlight, while market participants waited for more developments in US-China trade negotiations.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index decreased by 0.4%, having ascended more than 3% for the last four sessions on expectations that a US-China trade agreement could be inevitable after both countries reported progress.

Commerzbank stocks jumped by 3% as the race to buy the German lender escalated. As the Financial Times informed, Italy's UniCredit was working on a bid because Deutsche Bank's attempt experiences obstacles.

Apparently, the FT said UniCredit wouldn’t probably gatecrash current merger talks with Deutsche, although might make a move if they fail.

The news will probably rekindle hopes for further consolidation in the affected European banking sector that has underperformed the STOXX 600 in 2019. On Thursday, it found itself among leading divers.

The United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 was still pressured by a rally in the UK currency, backed by expectations for progress or a longer Brexit delay as UK Prime Minister Theresa May requires a joint approach with Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition leader to resolve a parliamentary deadlock.

Market sentiment was also affected by Germany’s data, which disclosed an unexpected decline in industrial orders in February, impacted by a sink in foreign demand.

Additionally, Saga Plc shares went down by 40% because the over-50s tourism and insurance company predicted lower annual underlying pretax gain and also reduced its dividend as it has difficulty with taking on a competitive motor as well as home insurance sector.

In addition to this, steel maker Thyssenkrupp slipped by about 1.5% as employees demanded considerable guarantees for jobs even if an expected joint venture with India's Tata Steel fails.

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