European markets open down but the mood is upbeat for some corporates as ChemChina clinches its $43 billion takeover of Syngenta in what will be China's biggest foreign takeover to date, while shares in BA-owner IAG soar nearly five per cent on a record Q1 performance. David Pollard reports.
Shares slipped but not the mood in early trading on Europe's markets. At least when it came to some of the headline makers. First up: Syngenta. ChemChina says it's won more than enough support from the Swiss company's shareholders to clinch its $43 billion takeover. China's biggest foreign takeover to date ... (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "Where maybe ChemChina benefit most from the from the deal, is that it's a less developed market. They have less sophisticated seeds and other products that Syngenta can bring to the bring to the table. And so it's going to help develop China." In new competition for Airbus and Boeing, the day also saw China's first home-grown large passenger jet taking off on its maiden flight. In Europe, BA-owner IAG shares did the same - on record Q1 profits. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "Really it's the lower fuel costs. They're helping IAG in a typically low part of the season. That along side cost cutting." But BHP Billiton came under some selling pressure. The miner under shareholder pressure to simplify its structure - and now, it's reported, to dump chief executive Andrew Mackenzie. Pearson shares, meanwhile, were up a mighty 15 per cent - on the promise of more cost cuts. And if the US earnings season continues to surprise, the mood in Europe should stay upbeat. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: That has been the theme and we're looking at double digit earnings growth in USA and continue with some of the big companies reporting next week. You know I think that bodes well for overall market sentiment." After hitting fresh 20 month highs, the STOXX 600 was on track to end the week up more than 1 percent. German blue chips have been at record highs and France's CAC at its highest level in more than 9 years - despite a fraught second run-off to its presidential election.