European shares clawed back losses on Wednesday as deal-making speculation reinvigorated trading following a muted start to the session.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended with a gain of 0.4 percent, climbing steadily through the day and shaking off worries over the resignation of Donald Trump’s economic adviser Gary Cohn, seen as a bulwark against protectionist forces within the U.S. government. Shares on Wall Street fell.
Shares in tech stocks .SXAP led gainers with a 1.2 percent rise, while autos .SXAP advanced 0.6 percent. Renault (RENA.PA) was the biggest auto gainer, up 5.6 percent following a Reuters report that Nissan (7201.T) was in talks with the car maker to buy the bulk of the French state’s 15 percent Renault holding.
Also among French stocks, shares in ADP (ADP.PA) jumped 6.1 percent after a media report said the government would go ahead with plans to privatize the French airport operator and sell its 50.6 percent stake entirely.
French construction group Vinci (SGEF.PA), which has an 8 percent stake in ADP and expressed an interest in acquiring more, rose 0.4 percent.
Paper and packaging firm Smurfit Kappa (SKG.I) saw a second session of gains, up 6.3 percent to be among the biggest gainers with traders citing a Bloomberg report that the Irish firm was prepared to open takeover talks at 40 euros per share.