European equity markets rebounded on Monday, starting the week on a positive note as risk appetite increased following fresh rumours about a possible M&A deal between Pfizer and AstraZeneca after Pfizer confirmed its bid interest, which showed a strong upside rally in the pharmaceutical stocks. In London, AstraZeneca surged by 14.37% following the news, while Shire as well as Smith & Nephew also climbed by 2.37% and 1.04%, respectively.
The CAC, DAX, IBEX and the London benchmark index gained between 0.15% and 0.5%, while the euro extended gains against the US dollar, trading above the 1.384 area.
On the macroeconomic front, US pending homes sales increased by 3.4% in March, beating analysts’ estimates. Furthermore, the Dallas Fed manufacturing index jumped to 11.7 in April, compared to a modest 4.9 in March. The robust economic data spread optimism across the US equity markets, with Dow Jones gaining more than 0.3% at the time of writing.
However, as the situation in Ukraine remains fairly tentative, it seems that investors would like to be fairly cautious. Tomorrow, the release of the UK GDP data and German inflation figures could provide further signs about current economic conditions. In the US, market participants will be watching for the release of consumer sentiment as well as Dallas Fed services index, which could add some momentum to the US dollar.