European stock markets hit by AstraZeneca and Dt Bank

lunes 19 de mayo de 2014 06:18 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 at lowest level in around 2 weeks

* AstraZeneca slumps after rejecting "final" Pfizer bid

* Deutsche Bank down after capital increase, impacts bank stocks

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) - European equities slid on Monday, pulled down by pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca, which slumped after rejecting a Pfizer takeover bid, and by Deutsche Bank, where a capital increase weighed on bank stocks.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which last week hit a 6-year high of 1,372.81 points, fell 0.9 percent to 1,349.79 points in mid-session trading - its lowest level in around two weeks. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also fell 1 percent to 3,140.41 points.

AstraZeneca's shares dropped 12 percent to take the most points off the FTSEurofirst 300, after it rejected a sweetened "final" cash-and-stock offer from Pfizer, causing uncertainty as to whether the U.S. drugmaker would pull off its plan to create the world's biggest pharmaceuticals group.

"Despite Pfizer having spent a large amount of money and time, the signal seems clear from AstraZeneca's board of directors, UK politicians and mainstream media that this is a bad deal, and we see limited efforts from Pfizer going forward," said Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank.

"Its shareholders will not appreciate a fourth attempt as it will inflate the valuation too much relative to deal risk," he added.   Continuación...