(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)