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Merger activity and talk boosts European markets


Merger activity and talk boosts European markets


European shares rose on Monday against a background of merger activity and a rescue plan for US mortgage firms Freddie Mac and Fannie Mac. However, fresh concern about the impact of the credit crisis on the financial sector pulled the European stock market indexes down from the day’s highs by the end of the session.

Banks were the top gainers; takeover target Alliance & Leicester surged 53%, while Santander was flat. The possibility of more mergers boosted the shares of Dutch mail group TNT, German tyre and car parts maker Continental and Britain’s ITV television network.

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