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DailyFX European Market Wrap: Banks Gain amid US Market Holiday

DailyFX European Market Wrap: Banks Gain amid US Market Holiday

Katie Pilbeam,

European markets are mixed this Monday with volumes predictably light due to Presidents Day in the US.

One of the company’s dragging down the London stock market is Unilever after Kraft-Heinz abandoned its offer to buy its rival food giant. Unilever, most renowned for its love it or hate it Marmite, said it saw "no merit, either financial or strategic" in Kraft's offer, worth about $143bn (£115bn). Had the deal been struck, it would have been the biggest in history for the sector.

Bovis Homes announced that its full-year pre-tax profit dropped last year. It announced a 3% fall in pre-tax profits for last year to £154.7m. The homebuilder also announced it plans to build fewer homes in 2017. As a consequence, its share price dropped 9 percent in early trade. The company has had to set aside £7m pounds to compensate customers who were sold houses that were unfinished and had electrical and plumbing faults. However, revenue was up 11% to £1,1bn and the number of homes completed rose 1% to 3,977.

One of the biggest gainers in the Monday trading session is Royal Bank of Scotland. The bank, 73pc owned by the UK taxpayer, was ordered to sell the Williams and Glyn network, made up of 314 branches, as a condition of its state bailout in 2008. But after a deal was struck with the HM Treasury and the European Commission, RBS no longer need to sell the division, leaving the way open for RBS to pay dividends in the future.

Greece’s finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is heading to the Brussels for the meeting today of euro zone finance ministers hoping to renegotiate its debt deadline. Optimism for a deal is low after the President of the EU Commission told reporters in ‘bar a miracle there won’t be a solution today.”

Looking ahead to Tuesday, preliminary Euro-Zone PMI data for February should draw traders' attention. DailyFX Analyst and Editor Martin Essex will be covering the figures live tomorrow at 3:45 EST/8:45 GMT - you can register here.

--- Written by Katie Pilbeam, DailyFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.