* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.4 pct, FTSE down 0.5 pct
* AstraZeneca falls 14 pct as it rejects "final" Pfizer bid
* Deutsche Bank down 0.9 pct as it unveils cap hike
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, May 19 European stocks edged lower on
Monday, with British pharma group AstraZeneca weighing after it
rejected a takeover bid, while broader sentiment was capped by
an uncertain economic picture.
Shares in AstraZeneca fell 14 percent after it
rejected a sweetened "final" cash-and-stock offer from Pfizer
, leaving it uncertain if the U.S. drugmaker would pull
off its plan to create the world's biggest pharmaceuticals
The stock had risen nearly 30 percent since mid-April, when
speculation about a Pfizer interest first emerged.
"People are getting stopped out of AstraZeneca," Mark Ward,
head of execution trading at Sanlam Securities, referring to a
situation where an automated sell order is generated after a
stock falls below a pre-determined level.
"We've been buying it this morning because we're pretty
confident that Pfizer is going to come back with an all-cash
offer which AstraZeneca's board might accept."
AstraZeneca's stock knocked 2.3 points off the pan-European
FTSEurofirst 300 index, which was down 5 points, or 0.4
percent, at 1,356.51 points at 0746 GMT.
Britain's FTSE was down 0.5 percent while the euro
zone blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 was down 0.3 percent at
Weighing on the euro zone index was Deutsche Bank
after Germany's largest lender unveiled plans to raise 8 billion
euros ($11 billion) in new capital, in its third capital
increase since 2010.
Shares in Deutsche Bank, down 0.9 percent, had risen by 7
percent over the previous two years, lagging a 70 percent rally
in a broader MSCI index of European banks. Deutsche's stock
trades at 57 percent the bank's book value, a 40 percent
discount to the sector, Datastream data showed.
"Plenty for both the bulls and bears in this announcement,"
a sales trader wrote in a comment to clients.
"I think it's worth noting that on a day trade, buyers will
look to buy on severe weakness as opposed to sell into strength,
but the weight of stock coming to market and dilution worries me
that these can trade (lower)."
News that China is tightening its grip on interbank lending
to defuse risks in shadow banks capped investor sentiment in
After disappointing economic data from some key euro zone
countries last week, investors were reluctant to push main
regional indexes to multi-year highs hit last week in the
absence of fresh positive catalysts.
Some expected the European Central Bank to shore up
sentiment next month by lowering its interest rates and possibly
announcing further stimulus measures, in a move which would
further depress bond yields and revive the stock market's
"It's not going to be a straight-line recovery and people
will lose confidence in it at times," Richard Marwood, senior
investment manager at AXA Investment Managersnt, said.
"But you've got a safety net (from central banks) and I
still think the stock market is a better place to be than the
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Toby Chopra)