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European stocks rose in early trade on Monday as merger activity kept the market's three-week rally going ahead of an expected interest rate rise by the European Central Bank seen as supportive for European equities.
Shares in chemical group Rhodia (RHA.PA) jumped 50 percent after Solvay (SOLB.BR) launched a 3.4 billion euro agreed bid for its French rival, while Vodafone (VOD.L) also rose after selling its 44 percent stake in France's second-biggest mobile telecoms operator SFR to Vivendi (VIV.PA) for a total of 7.95 billion euros ($11.3 billion).
Solvay (SOLB.BR) was up 3.1 percent while Vivendi (VIV.PA) gained 0.4 percent.
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