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Market Update

European Stocks Rise on China Export Growth, McCormick Withdrew Premier Offer

Author: Lucy Stoeva
Last Update: 8:24 AM ET April 13 2016

4:00 PM Frankfurt, Germany - Stock markets in Europe advanced on Wednesday after China said exports rose for the first time in nine months. In Italy, banks surged after government confirmed its plan to solve bad loan issues. McCormick withdrew its bid to acquire Premier Foods.

Stock markets in Europe advanced on Wednesday after positive economic data from China improved investors’ sentiment.

In China, exports returned to growth for the first time in nine months and exports rose 11.5% in March, compared with a decline of 25.4% in February, according to the customs agency.

The news most directly affected the performance of metal and mining stocks, since China is among the largest consumers of industrial metals.

ArcelorMittal jumped 16%, BHP Billiton surged 9.2%, Rio Tinto was up 7.6%, Glencore gained 6.7%, and Antofagasta added 5.15%.

The volatile Italian banks also recorded strong gains after the Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said European authorities wouldn’t stop the government initiative for a fund that would purchase bad loans and stock issues at troubled banks.

The two largest Italian banks, UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaoplo, jumped 10.6% and 8.3%, respectively.

Shares of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena rose 11.8 %, Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna jumped 11.5%, and Banca Popolare di Milano advanced 7.9%

Energy companies also pushed the markets higher on unconfirmed reports that Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to limit production ahead of the key meeting this weekend in Doha, Qatar.

Exploration companies Seadrill and Tullow Oil skyrocketed 22.3% and 11.5%, respectively, while BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, and Statoil gained between 2% and 3%.

Brent crude oil futures eased down 0.9% to $44.28 per barrel and WTI crude oil futures dropped 0.9% to $41.79 per barrel.

In London, the FTSE 100 index was up 20.50, or 1.93%, to 6,362.89, while in Frankfurt, the DAX index gained 264.63, or 2.71%, to 10,026.10.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index rose 144.4, or 3.32 %, to 4,490.31.

Elekta AB soared 7% to 60.25 Swedish kronor after the medical technology company appointed Richard Hausmann as president and chief executive from June 10.

Richard Hausmann has 30 years of experience in the medical device industry, including management positions at GE’s Magnetic Resonance division, Siemens computed tomography and MR business. He also acted as CEO of Siemens China.

Premier Foods Plc sank 25.4% to 42.50 pence on the news that U.S. spice producer McCormick withdrew its proposal to acquire the U.K. food manufacturer for £1.5 billion.

McCormick said it would not be able to meet the price recommended by the board of Premier Foods and to deliver appropriate returns for McCormick''s shareholders.

It had previously raised its proposal from 52 to 60 to 65 pence per share.

The food maker confirmed its belief in significant future growth as an independent company and raised its medium term annual sales forecast to 2% to 4% from 1% to 2%.

Premier Foods also stressed the importance of its deal with Japanese noodle maker Nissin Foods, 19.9% minority stakeholder in the company.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc