European stocks little changed in thin trading as Unilever drops



European stocks were little changed amid deal activity, as gains in telecommunications firms led by Deutsche Telekom AG offset a slide in Unilever NV.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added less than 0.1 percent at 11:45 a.m. in London, trimming earlier gains of as much as 0.5 percent. The volume of member shares traded was a fifth lower than the 30-day average, with US markets closed for a holiday.
Unilever tumbled 6.6 percent, heading for its worst drop since 2008, after Kraft Heinz Co. withdrew its $143 billion bid for the firm. The Anglo-Dutch consumer company surged on Friday as news of the offer became public. Deutsche Telekom rose 3 percent after a report that Sprint owner Softbank Corp. was targeting its T-Mobile US Inc. unit in a merger. Stoxx 600 banks snapped a two-day decline after Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said she is comfortable with rates going up over time.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc rallied 6.3 percent after scrapping plans to sell its Williams & Glyn banking unit, removing one of its biggest obstacles to paying dividends and cutting the UK. government’s stake.
With political risk in Europe in the spotlight, JPMorgan equity strategists including Emmanuel Cau and Mislav Matejka recommend a paired trade of Germany’s DAX Index versus France’s CAC 40 Index as a hedge against the risk of a populist vote in France, according to a note. In the case of a win for Marine Le Pen in France, the DAX should be a relative haven within the euro area, they wrote

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