European stocks struggled for direction on Monday as Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced that they will supply an additional 100 million doses of COMIRNATY, the companies’ COVID-19 vaccine, to the 27 European Union member states in 2021.
The agreement follows the European Commission’s decision to exercise its option to purchase an additional 100 million doses under its expanded Advanced Purchase Agreement signed on February 17.
Euro zone government bond yields followed U.S. Treasury yields lower after the U.S. Federal Reserve reiterated its view that any spike in inflation was likely to be temporary.
The pan European Stoxx 600 was marginally higher at 442.82 after hitting a record high of 443.61 earlier in the day.
France’s CAC 40 index gained 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was marginally higher, while the German DAX slipped 0.1 percent.
ABN AMRO Bank N.V. gained 1 percent. The Dutch bank has accepted a settlement offer from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service regarding the anti-money laundering investigation in the Netherlands.
Equiniti Group shares soared as much as 16 percent. The financial services company confirmed today that it has received a highly conditional non-binding takeover proposal from Siris Capital Group, LLC of 170 pence per share in cash.
BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell fell about 1 percent as oil prices fell on concerns that stronger measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in India would hurt economic activity.
Kier Group jumped 5 percent. The construction company has agreed to sell Kier Living Limited to Foster BidCo Limited.
Takeover specialist Melrose Industries dropped 1 percent after it entered into an agreement to sell its Nortek Air Management business to Chicago-based Madison Industries for about 2.62 billion pounds or $3.625 billion, in cash.
Chemicals company Johnson Matthey gained 1 percent after it announced strategic developments in the commercialization of eLNO.
Daimler dropped 1.3 percent. The automaker will create about 1,000 jobs for software programmers at its S-Class production facility in Germany to develop its planned operating system for electric vehicles, magazine Automobilwoche reported.
Evotec SE added nearly 1 percent. The company said that it reached a licensing and master service agreement with Kazia Therapeutics Limited.
Sanofi climbed 1.2 percent. The drug maker said that the European Commission approved Sarclisa or isatuximab in combination with carfilzomib and dexamethasone for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy.
It marks the second EC approval of Sarclisa in combination with a standard of care regimen in less than 12 months.
In economic releases, the euro area current account surplus declined in February largely due to a fall in the goods trade surplus, data published by the European Central Bank showed.
The current account surplus totaled EUR 26 billion versus a EUR 35 billion surplus in January.
The surplus on goods trade fell to EUR 32 billion from EUR 38 billion and that on services trade decreased to EUR 11 billion from EUR 12 billion in the previous month.
Eurozone’s construction output fell 2.1 percent month-on-month in February, after a 0.8 percent rise in January. Eurostat reported. In December, construction output decreased 1.4 percent.
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