European stocks rise with support from deals

GERMANY (OBSERVATORY) –¬†European shares rose in early trade on Thursday, boosted by new deal activity despite investor caution on concerns over possible US military action in Syria.

By 0724 GMT, the STOXX 600 index of European shares remained flat, down 0.6 percent on Wednesday, while the British Financial Times 100 index fell 0.01 percent and Germany’s DAX <.DXI> lost 0.09 percent.

US President Donald Trump warned Russia this week of imminent military action in Syria over a suspected gas attack and announced that “the missiles were coming” and criticized Moscow for backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But investors were encouraged by developments in mergers and acquisitions.

Shares in Shire rose 1.2 percent after sources told Reuters that Takida had addressed lenders on loans to help fund a possible takeover of the British company specializing in rare-earth drugs.

First Group jumped after news of its rejection of an Apollo takeover bid, while Playtech rose 6.4 percent after agreeing to buy Italian gaming firm Snape Tech for $ 1 billion. Shares in Snai Tech rose 14 percent.

For corporate earnings news, Carrefour slipped 5 percent after the company reported weak quarterly sales.