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Vaccine hopes, global M&A boost European stocks

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Sept 14 (Reuters) - European stocks kicked off the week on a positive note, as hopes of a coronavirus vaccine and a flurry of global M&A activity overshadowed worries about a disorderly Brexit.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.7% by 0711 GMT on Monday, hitting its highest level in over a week, while the German and French indexes clocked similar gains.

News over the weekend that AstraZeneca had resumed clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine after being suspended last week sparked a wave of buying across global stocks. The British drugmaker’s shares rose 0.5%.

Meanwhile, U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp said it would buy UK-based chip designer Arm from Japan’s SoftBank Group for as much as $40 billion in a deal set to reshape the global semiconductor landscape, spurring a 1% gain in Europe’s tech sector.

Frankfurt-listed shares of Immunomedics shot up 109.7% on news Gilead Sciences will acquire the U.S. biopharmaceutical company for $21 billion.

However, adding to fears of a messy departure for Britain from the European Union, car industries from both sides warned that failure to secure a free trade agreement would cost the sector 110 billion euros ($130 billion) in lost trade over the next five years. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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