LIVE MARKETS-Unsolicited bid for Smurfit Kappa puts packaging sector on fire

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LIVE MARKETS-Unsolicited bid for Smurfit Kappa puts packaging sector on fire
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* European shares strongly higher

* Focus back to earnings, M&A deals

* Smurfit Kappa soars after unsolicited bid

* Worries over trade wars, Italy risk ease

LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equitymarkets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Kit Rees. Reach her onMessenger to share your thoughts on market moves: rm://


As Jefferies mentioned earlier, there is definitely a "positive M&A read" on the packagingsector after Smurfit Kappa SKG.I dismissed an unsolicited bid from U.S.-based InternationalPaper. what the shares in the top players in the industry look like this morning as SmurfitKappa surges 18 percent:

(Julien Ponthus)



February was the month when interest rates and inflation took centre stage and it seemsinvestors who ignored this new theme paid for it dearly.

According to MSCI's research for February, high dividend yield strategies sustained theworst performance, while "momentum" limited losses:

The same lesson can be drawn from the performance of sectors associated with bond proxies,like consumer staples, or those which are very sensitive to a rise in interest rates like realestate:

(Julien Ponthus)



Shares in Just Eat JE.L are down 10.2 percent, the worst performers on the STOXX .STOXX after the takeaway delivery company said it would invest an extra 50 million pounds in 2018 tostay ahead of the competition, which includes Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

"The new CEO delivered a severe blow to earnings momentum for this market darling," notesNorthern Trust Capital Markets analyst Ameet Patel, pointing to earnings guidance nearly 25percent below consensus.

It's unexpectedly bad news for a stock which has captured the imagination of many investorslooking for online alternatives to the UK's bricks and mortar retailers.

"CEO Peter Plumb's maiden results presentation will be under real scrutiny now as bulls(basically all of the sell-side) will no doubt be searching for positives," says Patel.

Hargreaves Lansdown (LON: HRGV ) analyst Laith Khalaf says the big move in the shares is down to "shockand concern that the move may in fact represent an admission that competition is intensifyingfor Just Eat." Pressure will be on Plumb to argue returns on this investment will be strongenough to justify derailing near-term earnings growth, he adds.

Interestingly Liberum added Just Eat to its 'top ten buys' list just this morning. Strategyanalysts there argue the threat from competition is overdone as Just Eat is "the leader in allof the countries it operates in".

It's Just Eat's worst day since it listed in 2014.

(Kit Rees and Helen Reid)



European shares are clearly in a "risk-on" mood this morning at the open as markets aroundthe world appear to shrug off trade war fears and political risk in Italy, with Milan's FTSE MIBup more than 1 percent despite the weekend's inconclusive general election.

Some M&A to spice things up too with Smurfit Kappa up 18 percent after rejecting anunsolicited bid from International Paper.

(Julien Ponthus)


MORNING HEADLINE ROUND-UP (0740 GMT)Smurfit Kappa rejects unsolicited International Paper approach Hill to sell Australia business to CrownBet unit sets services goal, targets productivity gains Chrysler to spin-off Magneti Marelli without raising money - sources Thales says expects to exceed medium-term targets Elliott building fresh stake in Telecom Italia (MI: TLIT ) ponders trucks IPO amid broader efficiency push -CEO

to replace ProSiebenSat.1 on Germany's DAX index sticks with 2018 guidance after FY profit rise expects U.S. business to weigh on sales growth this year group Zumtobel Q3 loss higher than expected Eurofins raises 2018 target after strong 2017 results should seek pensions regulator approval for GKN (LON: GKN ) takeover-lawmakers miner BHP rises on report Mexico's Pemex seeks JV partners to sell methacrylates plastics business shoppers keep on spending more on food as inflation bites-BRC sees tough year ahead after 2017 guidance miss sees FY results in line on North America strength

Orange threatens to cut Tf1's signal - Le Figaro takeover battle intervention shows U.S. security panel's expanding reach acquisition of Maersk Oil to close this week -CEO Pfeiffer)



Feb. 6 was the worst (-2.4 percent) day for the STOXX 600 since the Brexit referendum ofJune 2016. Fears concerning inflation in the United States were then dragging global equitymarkets into a correction.

It was also quite a good day for Euronext: "On 6 February 2018, Euronext daily volumereached a new record for the year, at €16,848 million, representing the 11th most active daysince 2010", the bourse operator wrote this morning.

Overall on the month, volumes increased significantly: "the average daily transaction valueon the Euronext cash order book stood at €9,141 million, up +29.4% compared to February 2017 andup +17.6% from the previous month".

(Julien Ponthus)



It is, indeed, looking like it's going to be another positive session in Europe, with theSTOXX 600 set to pull further away from the six-month low hit in the previous session.

Here's your futures snapshot:

(Kit Rees)



It's not looking like the busiest earnings day, but updates to watch will be TelecomItalia's fourth quarter results and a full year update from online luxury retailer YooxNet-a-Porter. It's a quiet day on the macro front too.

Here are all the European companies set to report results today:

TLIT.MI Q4 2017 Telecom Italia SpA Earnings Release OERL.S

Full Year 2017 OC Oerlikon Corporation Ag Pfaeffikon Earnings Release FORN.S

Full Year 2017 Forbo Holding AG Earnings Release DOKA.S

Half Year 2018 Dormakaba Holding AG Earnings Release IFA1V.HE Q4 2017 Innofactor Plc Earnings Release BUCN.S

Full Year 2017 Bucher Industries AG Earnings Release YNAP.MI Full Year 2017 Yoox (MI: YNAP ) Net-A-Porter Group SpA Earnings Release DANI.MI Half Year 2018 Danieli & C Officine Meccaniche SpA Earnings Release VNAn.DE Full Year 2017 Vonovia SE Earnings Release ESCH.L

Full Year 2017 Escher Group Holdings PLC Earnings Release APAX.L

Full Year 2017 Apax Global Alpha Ltd Earnings Release IWG.L

Full Year 2017 IWG Plc Earnings Release DNORD.CO Q4 2017 Dampskibsselskabet Norden A/S Earnings Release EUFI.PA Full Year 2017 Eurofins Scientific SE Earnings Release AHT.L

Q3 2018 Ashtead Group (LON: AHT ) PLC Earnings Release AGGK.L

Full Year 2017 Aggreko (LON: AGGK ) PLC Earnings Release BOY.L

Full Year 2017 Bodycote PLC Earnings Release ROR.L

Full Year 2017 Rotork PLC Earnings Release HWG.L

Full Year 2017 Harworth Group PLC Earnings Release SDL.L

Full Year 2017 SDL PLC Earnings Release TCFP.PA Full Year 2017 Thales SA Earnings Release SPMI.MI Full Year 2017 Saipem SpA Earnings Release LISN.S

Full Year 2017 Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli AG Earnings Release EVKn.DE Full Year 2017 Evonik Industries AG Earnings Release ONTEX.BR Full Year 2017 Ontex Group NV Earnings Release

(Kit Rees)



Good morning! Financial spreadbetters see European stocks rising at the open, shrugging offuncertainty sparked by Italy's inconclusive election and as concerns over possible trade warsease.

Spreadbetters expect Britain's FTSE to gain 34 points, Germany's DAX to rise 91 points andFrance's CAC to advance 28 points.

Asian stocks gained overnight, as U.S. President Donald Trump faces growing pressure frompolitical and diplomatic allies as well as U.S. companies over his plan to impose steel andaluminium tariffs. Wall St closed higher. Rees)

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