March 20, 2018 / 8:51 AM / a month ago

Publicis buoys European stocks, tech under pressure

MILAN, March 20 (Reuters) - A well-received strategy update from ad firm Publicis helped shore up European stocks on Tuesday after concerns over increased regulation and taxation of large tech companies prompted selling overnight on Wall Street.

Publicis rose more than 2 percent after the world’s third-biggest advertising group said it was doubling down on efforts to become a consulting partner for global advertisers online in an attempt to kick-start sluggish growth.

By 0825 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.2 percent, while the UK’s FTSE rebounded 0.4 percent after hitting a 15-month low in the previous session.

Advertisers and media stocks are among the worst performers in Europe over the last 12 months, as they struggle to compete against big U.S. internet players like Google and Facebook, which now face growing regulatory scrutiny.

The European Union is proposing a 3 percent tax on turnover of large companies with significant digital revenues, according to a draft proposal seen by Reuters.

Tech stocks fell 0.1 percent, also weighed down by a 0.7 percent drop in German software maker SAP on a negative read-across from disappointing results at U.S. peer Oracle.

In M&A news, Fenner surged 25 percent after French tyre maker Michelin announced plans to buy the British engineering company for 1.2 billion pounds.

Elsewhere, a sell rating from UBS sent shares in France’s BIC down 5.5 percent to the bottom of the STOXX. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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