January 29, 2018 / 8:43 AM / 3 months ago

Chipmakers, Sanofi deal dominate European share trading

LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Stellar results from chipmaker AMS and another big pharma deal dominated European share trading at the start of a heavy earnings week.

The euro, whose strength had crimped stocks late last week, eased back from its highs, helping Europe’s STOXX 600 index inch up 0.1 percent, while euro zone stocks stayed flat, with most of the activity under the benchmark level.

Austria’s AMS soared 25 percent after its 2017 revenue doubled and the iPhone component supplier raised its growth forecasts far beyond analyst expectations.

Peers Dialog Semiconductor, STMicro, and Infineon all rose, gaining between 1.1 and 5 percent, led by Dialog, whose shares have tumbled since late November.

Sanofi muscled Novo Nordisk out of the way to buy Ablynx, clinching a 3.9 billion euro deal for the Belgian biotech firm.

The French pharma giant’s shares were down 0.3 percent as traders digested the hefty price tag of 45 euros per share, against Ablynx’s closing price of 39 euros on Friday. The offer was a 109 percent premium to Ablynx’s share price prior to Novo Nordisk’s bid on Jan 8.

Ablynx shares were suspended from trading until 1030 local time (0930 GMT), the Belgian market regulator said.

Shares in Swedish medical technology group Getinge sank 8.4 percent to the bottom of the STOXX after it reported fourth-quarter profit far below market forecasts, and said 2018 results would be affected by currency transactions.

Overall, European stocks kept a decisive cyclical tilt, with miners, autos, financial services and tech all gaining while utilities, food and beverage and real estate stocks slipped.

Spain’s Enagas fell 3.8 percent after Kepler Cheuvreux cut its target price on the stock. (Reporting by Helen Reid; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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