LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - M&A activity spiced up a more reserved start to European share trading on Tuesday after Comcast made a surprise counterbid for pay-TV group Sky SKYB.L , sending its shares soaring.
Shares in Sky jumped more than 18 percent on the back of Comcast's CMCSA.O $31 billion offer, which could scupper Fox's FOXA.O plan to buy out Sky and sell it to Walt Disney DIS.N . shares were trading well above Comcast's offer price, suggesting some investors expect Fox/Disney to come back with a higher offer.
Results were once again in focus, with UK housebuilder Persimmon (LON: PSN ) PSON.L advancing 12 percent after it reported a jump in full-year earnings and a higher reservations rate and boosted its interim dividend. results fired up the whole sector, with Berkeley up 2.9 percent and Taylor Wimpey (LON: TW ) climbing 2.8 percent.
Outside of the STOXX, troubled subprime lender Provident Financial PFG.L saw its shares soar 37 percent after saying it would raise 331 million pounds via a rights issue. broader stocks performance was more muted, however, ahead of testimony from the new U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell later in the day - watched for clues about future rate hikes and his view on recent market volatility.
Concerns over rising inflation and higher bond yields sparked a global equity market sell-off at the beginning of February, but as bond yields have eased this has taken the pressure off equity indexes slightly.
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