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From DealingFloor:

** EUROPE: UPS & DOWNS **

+ ALCATEL PRICE EST. RAISED 12% TO EU14.50 AT UBS
+ RIO TINTO RAISED TO `BUY’ FROM `HOLD’ AT CITIGROUP
+ ALSTOM PRICE ESTIMATE RAISED TO EU60 FROM EU48 AT JPMORGAN
+ DAIMLERCHRYSLER PRICE EST. RAISED TO EU50 AT MORGAN STANLEY
+ HOCHTIEF RAISED TO `NEUTRAL’ VS. `UNDERWEIGHT’ AT HSBC
+ DAIMLERCHRYSLER PRICE EST. RAISED 6% TO EU53 AT LEHMAN
+ XSTRATA PRICE EST. RAISED 22% TO 2,200P AT CITIGROUP
+ SHIRE PRICE EST. RAISED 4.8% TO 1,100P AT UBS
+ WPP PRICE EST. RAISED 8.6% TO 820P AT UBS

- SCHERING CUT TO `PEER PERFORM’ FROM `OUTPERFORM’ AT BEAR
- OMV CUT TO `UNDERWEIGHT’ FROM `NEUTRAL’ AT JPMORGAN
- GLOBAL BANK STOCKS CUT TO `UNDERWEIGHT’ AT LEHMAN BROTHERS
- CNOOC CUT TO `HOLD’ FROM `BUY’ AT DEUTSCHE BANK AFTER EARNINGS

** EUROPE: HEADLINES **

- Zurich Might Pay More Than $100 Million to Settle U.S. Probes, People Say
- European Stocks Head for Biggest Gain in Nine Quarters Amid Takeover Boom
- Vodafone’s Sarin, Free of Predecessor Gent, Exits Japan; U.S. May Be Next
- French Executives Anticipate Accelerating Growth, Economists Survey Shows
- Alcatel, Lucent Combination Plan May Spark More Phone-Equipment Mergers

** EUROPE: IN PLAY TODAY **

- Arcelor: Mittal is still interested in a friendly takeover of Arcelor and
would prefer it to a hostile bid. Arcelor’s CEO has failed to respond to
Mittal’s offers (Der Spiegel citing an interview with Mittal).

- Alcatel and Lucent Technologies planned merger will spark a review from the US
government and Congress on national security grounds (NYSE:FT). In other news,
Ericsson may consider a bid for Lucent to thwart the merger (Times). Alcatel’s
target price raised 12% to E14.50 by UBS.

- Total may move for the $3bln joint venture with India’s Hindustan Petroleum
after BP pulled out of the bid (Business).

- Continental is interested in buying parts in Delphi and Dana Corp in bid to
strengthen its position in the US and Asia and has E4bln at its disposal for
acquisitions (Die Welt).

- Infineon Technologies will spin off its DRAM memory chip business on May 1,
earlier than planned (Welt am Sonntag).

- Aviva, which itself withdrew its offer for Prudential is now the takeover
target of Axa and AIG, who may be interested in either of the companies (FT).

- ING Groep may sell off its UK stockbroking unit Williams de Broe and has
received some interest from private equity groups such as Alchemy Partners,
according to a company spokeswoman.

- A spit up of Ahold is only a matter of time according to former board member
(FD).

- Abn Amro denied rumours it will be merging with BBVA.


** ASIA: HEADLINES **

- Asian Stocks Advance, Led by Exporters, Honda; Hyundai Motor, Kia Decline
- Tattersall’s Agrees to Acquire Wagering Company Unitab for $1.3 Billion
- Taiwan’s Fuhwa Financial to Revive Merger to Access $827 Million Capital
- Australian Stock Exchange Agrees to Buy Futures Exchange for $1.6 Billion
- Nomura, Poised for Record Fiscal Year Earnings, Can’t Catch Goldman, UBS
- Japan’s Tankan Business Confidence Index Probably Rose for Fourth Quarter
- BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto Face Pressure by China to Cap Iron Ore Price Rise
- Malaysian Air Expects to Cut Costs by $154 Million This Year to Stem Loss
- Hyundai Motor, Affiliates Shares Fall Amid Government Probe Over Lobbying
- Asian Stock Rally Slows for Second Quarter as Taiwan, South Korea Decline


** US: HEADLINES **

- Morgan Stanley’s Falling Merger Fees Ranking Isn’t a Trend, John Mack Says
- Consumer Confidence, Growth Wanes as Fed Nears Last Interest-Rate Increase
- Dollar May Drop as Traders Speculate on Fewer Fed Increases, Survey Shows
- U.S. Stocks Stall Near May 2001 High; TXU, Vornado Realty Lead Decliners
- Ten-Year U.S. Treasuries Are Little Changed as Traders Await Rate News
- Alcatel Plan to Buy Lucent Will Trigger U.S. Security Review, FT Reports
- Sealy Seeks to Raise $429.3 Million in IPO of World’s Biggest Bed Maker
- Universal’s `Inside Man’ Is the Top Weekend Film With $29 Million in Sales

- Gold May Rise as Investors Seek Hedge Against Dollar Decline, Survey Says
- Silver Rises Most Since Hunts’ Market Play in 1979; Gain for Bill Gates
- U.S. Natural-Gas Prices Decline as Traders Focus on High Stored Supplies
- Wheat Falls as Rains May Revive Crops After Drought in U.S. Great Plains
- White Sugar Heads for First Weekly Gain in Four in London After Cyclone
- Mittal and Arcelor Are Competing for Brazil’s CSN, Business Reports

Source: Monday Morning View From Europe