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European shares edge lower as Heineken disappoints; Fed in focus

European shares edge lower as Heineken disappoints; Fed in focus
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, July 26, 2019. REUTERS/Staff   -   Copyright  STAFF(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – European shares opened lower on Monday as weak earnings from brewer Heineken and an anxious wait for an expected U.S. interest rate cut offset a surge in London Stock Exchange Group on its potential deal to buy financial data firm Refinitiv.

The world’s second largest brewer <HEIO.AS> slipped 5.6% after it missed estimates for first-half profit, while carrier Ryanair <RYA.I> reported a slump in profit and warned on fares.

Shares of London Stock Exchange Group <LSE.L> surged 11% after the exchange operator said it was in discussions to buy Refinitiv Holdings from U.S. buyout fund Blackstone Group <BX.N> for $27 billion, including debt.

Sanofi <SASY.PA> advanced 2.3% after it raised its 2019 outlook on the back of strong growth in its vaccines and rare diseases businesses.

That left the pan-European stocks benchmark index <.STOXX> down 0.1% by 0710 GMT after ending last week up 0.9%.

Data showing slowing economic growth in the United States and a fall in China’s industrial profits last month solidified expectations for a 25 basis point cut in interest rates by the Federal Reserve, which is set to begin its two-day meeting on Tuesday.

London’s FTSE <.FTSE> was the only major gainer in Europe, propped up by the LSE news and other deal talks as well as weakness in the British pound on worries over a no-deal Brexit.

Britain’s Just Eat <JE.L> soared 23.1% on news that it was in talks to be bought by rival online food delivery firm Takeaway.com <TKWY.AS> in a potential 8.2-billion-pound all-share deal.

(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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