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European stocks were little changed from a five-week high, as investors awaited U.S. earnings next week, while merger and acquisition activity offset a selloff in Spanish utility companies.
Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are among companies to report earnings in the U.S. next week. Profit at companies listed on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index probably rose 1.8 percent last quarter, according to Bloomberg data. That compares with a projection of 8.7 percent six months ago.
National benchmark indexes climbed in eight of the 18 western-European markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose less than 0.1 percent while Germany’s DAX climbed 0.7 percent. France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.4 percent.
Invensys jumped 15 percent to 508 pence after Schneider Electric, the world’s largest maker of low- and medium-voltage equipment, offered to pay 505 pence a share for the British company. The bid comprises 319 pence in cash and 186 pence in new Schneider shares. Invensys said it indicated to the French company that it will probably recommend the offer. Schneider fell 4.1 percent to 55.70 euros in Paris.
Phoenix jumped 10 percent to 719 pence after the U.K.’s biggest manager of closed life-insurance funds said it’s in preliminary talks to combine with Swiss Re’s Admin Re unit.
Swedish Match AB gained 2.6 percent to 248.60 kronor in Stockholm after the Daily Mail reported speculation that Imperial Tobacco Group Plc may make a bid of 350 kronor ($52.51) a share for the maker of smokeless-tobacco products. The newspaper did not cite anyone.
In Spain, the government announced plans to cut profit for renewable energy companies and the electric grid operator as part of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s effort to eliminate a 4.5 billion euro deficit forecast this year for the industry.
Iberdrola SA, Spain’s biggest power company, fell 3.4 percent to 3.87 euros. Endesa SA slumped 4.6 percent to 16 euros, while Acciona SA, which owns more than 4 gigawatts of wind farms in the country, tumbled 8.5 percent to 37.95 euros. Red Electrica Corp. slid 7.5 percent to 38.34 euros.
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