European shares come back from long weekend in the green

|By:, SA News Editor

European stocks are mainly higher following the long Easter holiday weekend, helped by M&A news in the pharmaceuticals sector.

Novartis is +2.2% and GSK +4.8% following the announcement of a multi-billion dollar asset swap, while AstraZeneca is +7.6% after a report of a tentative megabid from Pfizer.

In Asia, the Nikkei gave back early gains to end -0.85%, dragged down by caution ahead of earnings season and the tensions in Ukraine.

Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong -0.1%, China +0.3% and India flat.

Euro Stoxx 50 +0.5%, London +0.9%, Paris +0.6%, Frankfurt +1.1%, Milan -0.15%, Madrid +0.35%.

U.S. stock futures: Dow -0.05%. S&P flat. Nasdaq +0.05%