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From DealingFloor:

** EUROPEAN EQUITIES **

Stoxx 600 0.38%; FTSE 0.4%; DAX 0.58%; CAC 0.2%; AEX 0.68%
¦ Financials 0.87%¦ Energy 0.79%¦ Materials 0.44%¦ ConsDisc 0.4%¦ ConsStaples 0.3%¦ Industrial 0.04%¦ Technology -0.1%¦ Utilities -0.05%¦ Healthcare -0.12%¦ Telecom -0.4%

** MORNING RECAP **

- European markets trade higher across the board, despite Friday’s macro data knocking U.S. indices off recent highs. Merger speculations dominate sector performance. Banks are in full focus after BNP bids EUR 9bn for BNL reigniting merger speculation in other Italian banks such as Capitalia, Unipol and Banco Populare. Energy cos are strong following a revival in the oil price ($66 in Nymex crude as Iran defies United Nations to pursue nuclear research).

- German Prosieben is trading higher after press speculations that News Corp, Goldman & Apax may bid for the company. Unilever is rising on speculations they might sell their frozen food business for as much as EUR 2b. U.K. Gus is trading up as two firms might be interested in a GBP 6b bid for its Experian operation. Boots is moving higher on reports in the Sunday press that Apax, Texas Instruments and CVS may prepare a takeover. Repsol finally is in positive territory on, yes, speculation that ENI and BP could be launcing a bid.

- Germany’s factory orders today disappointed, coming in at 3.9% YoY (6% expected) and -1.6% MoM (versus +0.6% expected). The Euro is loosing strenght against the U.S. Dollar on the idea that the interest rate differential between the two currencies will continue to support the USD.

Source: Monday's Market -- Mid-day Wrap From Europe