DAILY EUROPEAN EQUITY OPENING NEWS: LSE (LSE LN) - Activist hedge fund The Children's Investment Fund (TCI), which has a 5% stake in the Co., is unlikely to succeed in its attempt to remove LSE chairman Donald Brydon in shareholder vote

**EUROPEAN EQUITY COVERAGE WILL ONLY COVER COMPANIES IN THE STOXX 600 OR COMPANIES OF SYSTEMIC IMPORTANCE TO PARTICULAR SECTORS**

18th December 2017

The Daily European Equity Opening News is uploaded at 0700GMT/0100CST recapping all of the overnight equity news

From 0700GMT/0100CST all equity news will be covered in real time over the audio and headline feed and the full audio rundown will be at 0715GMT/0115CST.

There will be an additional audio rundown at 0750GMT/0150CST recapping any company news which has hit the wires since 0715GMT/0115CST ahead of the European equity open

ASIA

Asia equity markets began the week mostly positive following Friday’s gains on Wall St. where tax reform optimism buoyed all major indices to record levels after reports Republican Senators Rubio and Corker were to support the tax bill. ASX 200 (+0.7%) was higher as miners gained after an early 6% surge in Dalian iron ore prices, while Nikkei 225 (+1.6%) outperformed on JPY weakness and after encouraging Japanese Trade Data in which Exports rose a 12th consecutive month. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+0.7%) was positive and Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) traded indecisive after a significant CNY 300bln injection by the PBoC, and as some property names lagged after the latest China House Price data continued to show the effectiveness of government measures to cool the property sector. India markets were volatile on election risk during vote counting day with the NIFTY (+0.7%) down 2% at the start of trade as early results suggested a closer race in Gujarat between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress Party than what was seen in Friday’s exit polls. However, stocks later pared losses and then some, after the BJP pulled ahead and trends pointed to a comfortable majority win.

FTSE

LSE (LSE LN) - Activist hedge fund The Children's Investment Fund (TCI), which has a 5% stake in the Co., is unlikely to succeed in its attempt to remove LSE chairman Donald Brydon at the bourse operator's shareholder vote on Tuesday, according to sources. (The Times)

Ryanair (RYA LN) – Irish pilots suspend plans for strike actions for December 20th, according to sources (Newswires)

Sky (SKY LN) - A hedge fund, which has a stake lower than 1% in the Co., reached out to the UK's Takeover Panel saying Walt Disney’s (DIS) takeover of Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) could cost minority shareholders in the UK satellite broadcaster a hefty premium unless the regulator intervenes. (FT)

BT Group (BT LN) - British broadband companies have threatened to launch a judicial review if the government accepts Co.’s GBP 600mln offer to improve broadband speeds in sparsely populated areas. (FT)

OTHER UK COMPANIES

BROKER RECOMMENDATIONS

RYANAIR (RYA LN) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM OUTPERFORM AT CREDIT SUISSE

JUST EAT (JE/ LN) UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM FROM SECTOR PERFORM AT RBC

DAX

Continental (CON GY) – Co. has at least EUR 3bln for acquisitions, given low debts, ample liquidity and growing automotive markets, according to sources. (Newswires)

Deutsche Bank (DBK GY) - A U.S. district court in Florida has dismissed a lawsuit by the heirs of a prominent Jewish family seeking USD 3bln from the Co. In other reports, US Special Consel Mueller’s investigation has reportedly asked for information regarding transactions by the bank associated to former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. (Newswires)

Henkel (HEN3 GY) – Co. CFO says always on the lookout for acquisitions, would accept a temporary deterioration of its credit rating to seize more opportunities. (Newswires)

German Insurers - Germany's ruling Christian Democrats are considering reforming life insurance regulations to make it more difficult for insurance companies to sell run-off portfolios. (Newswires)

OTHER GERMAN COMPANIES

BROKER RECOMMENDATIONS

CAC

Safran (SAF FP) – The EU Anti-Trust authorities are set to grant unconditional approval to the co. for Zodiac (ZODC FP), according to sources. (Newswires)

 

Gemalto (GTO NA) – Thales (HO FP) is to acquire Co. in deal valued around EUR 4.8bln. (Newswires)

 

Alstom (ALO FP) – Co. announced on Friday it was going to supply six additional Citadis trams to Nice Côte d’Azur metropole. (Newswires)

 

Engie (ENGI FP) – French government is also considering the law to reduce Co. holdings to below a threshold of one-third of voting rights. (Newswires)

 

ADP (ADP FP) – Business daily Les Echos stated; the French government is considering awarding long-term concession to Paris airport operator ADP (ADP FP) due to land ownership issues, prior to a possible sale of controlling stake. (Newswires)

 

 

 

 

OTHER FRENCH COMPANIES

BROKER RECCOMENDATIONS

AIRBUS (AIR FP) DOWNGRADED TO REDUCE FROM SELL AT ALPHAVALUE

PAN-EUROPE

Generali (G IM) – Co. says it is to sell Irish based Generali Pan Europe to receive total cash proceeds of EUR 286mln. (Newswires)

BROKER RECOMMENDATIONS

SMI

BROKER RECCOMENDATIONS

SCANDINAVIA

H&M (HMB SS) – Co. owner Didnet and Gerge think that the Co. is in need of new management. (Newswires)

BROKER RECOMMENDATIONS

H&M (HMB SS) DOWNGRADED TO NEUTRAL FROM BUY AT UBS

US

Optimism that the US will get Trump’s tax reform through Congress gave equity markets a lift on Friday as reports that Republican Senator Rubio will vote for the tax plan appeared to ease some concerns that bill would struggle to get enough votes in the Senate. Bear in mind, Bob Corker is again expected to vote against the legislation, meaning the Republicans can only lose one more vote before the slim majority is wiped out.

All the major indices were higher with Discovery Communications leading the NASDAQ after an insider buy in their shares sent the stock soaring. Meanwhile, CSX lagged the rest of the market after it was announced their CEO was taking unexpected medical leave.

 

Best-Performing Sectors:

Worst-Performing Sectors:

18 Dec 2017 - 06:45- Research Sheet- Source: Newswires

Subscribe Now to RANsquawk

Click here for a 1 week free trial

RANsquawk provides audio news and commentary for over 15,000professional traders and brokers worldwide. Services include: