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Chemical deals lift European shares, banks weigh

Chemical deals lift European shares, banks weigh
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, July 4, 2019. REUTERS/Staff -
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(Reuters) – European shares rose on Wednesday after three sessions of losses as deal-making activity in the chemical sector helped offset pale earnings from banks in the region, with U.S.-China trade worries lingering.

German chemical groups Bayer <BAYGn.DE> and Lanxess <LXSG.DE> agreed to sell chemical park operator Currenta to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) <MQG.AX> for an enterprise value of 3.5 billion euros ($3.9 billion).

Shares of both companies were up between 1.7% and 3%, with the chemical sub-sector <.SX4P> leading gains.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> rose 0.3% after a volatile session on Monday with Germany’s trade-sensitive DAX <.GDAXI> shrugging off dire industrial output data.

Banks <.SX7P> moved lower, with Italian banks <.FTIT8300> weighing after mixed earnings from the country’s top lenders.

The country’ biggest bank by assets UniCredit <CRDI.MI> lagged after it cut its revenue target for 2019 due to expectations interest rates would remain lower for longer, but shares of Banco BPM <BAMI.MI> rose 3% after it reported a sharp rise in net profit.

Also weighing on banks was Commerzbank <CBKG.DE>, after the German lender said its target for a slight increase in full-year net profit had become “significantly more ambitious”.

London’s FTSE 100 <.FTSE> underperformed as mining heavyweight Glencore Plc <GLEN.L> fell after reporting a 32% drop in first-half core profit.

(Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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