* Euro firm on safe-haven flow, expected inflation uptick
* Wall St rebounds on merger speculation, rotation into
* Oil slips below $110 on looming exports from Libya
(Adds close of U.S. markets)
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, April 28 Global equity markets
rebounded in rocky trade on Monday after a $100 billion bid for
AstraZeneca boosted speculation of further corporate
deal-making, while crude oil prices fell as major producer Libya
prepared to resume exports.
The Nasdaq composite index shed more than 1 percent at one
point as investors dumped growth shares regardless of companies'
first-quarter results, but the tech-rich index recouped almost
all losses by the market's close as investors piled into Apple
"You had more rotation out of the high-beta momentum names,
and I think a lot of those tech players rotated into Apple -
which just had positive earnings and the buyback and dividend
boost - for defensive reasons," said Michael O'Rourke, chief
market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.
"This whole M&A aspect of the pharmaceutical healthcare
industry has people positively biased for the time being," he
said. "The people who had to sell the momentum names are at
least finished for the time being and we caught a bounce."
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc said it made a 58.8
billion pound ($98.9 billion) bid for Britain's AstraZeneca Plc
after having two bids rejected.
AstraZeneca shares rallied 14.4 percent in London, while
Pfizer rose 4.2 percent to $32.04 on Wall Street. It was the
biggest gainer in the Dow Industrials and the fourth-biggest by
percentage points in the benchmark S&P 500 index.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 87.28 points,
or 0.53 percent, to 16,448.74. The S&P 500 gained 6.03
points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,869.43, and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 1.161 points, or 0.03 percent, to 4,074.401.
Apple jumped 3.9 percent to $594.09, after earlier hitting a
52-week high of $595.75.
MSCI's measure of global equity performance, the all-country
world index, rose 0.12 percent in choppy trade.
In Europe, the pan-regional FTSEurofirst 300 index
closed up 0.26 percent at 1,336.30. Shares of Germany's Bayer
rose 3.3 percent, lifted by the wave of merger
speculation in pharmaceuticals.
Brent crude oil slipped below $110 a barrel after Libya
lifted force majeure at the eastern oil port of Zueitina, paving
the way to restart exports at a second port after a deal with
rebels to unblock major terminals.
June Brent fell $1.46 to settle at $108.12 a barrel,
while U.S. crude reversed earlier losses to settle up 24 cents
The euro hit a two-week high against the U.S. dollar, helped
by safe-haven flows due to the Ukraine crisis and expectations
that inflation in the euro zone will show an increase this week,
lessening the need for looser monetary policy.
The United States slapped sanctions on seven Russian
government officials and 17 companies linked to Russian
President Vladimir Putin on Monday in a fresh attempt to force
Moscow to back down from its intervention in Ukraine.
"Since the onset of the Ukraine crisis the euro has
benefited. We expect that pattern to continue," said Michael
Woolfolk, global markets strategist at BNY Mellon in New York.
Woolfolk said even if sanctions impact Russia's main trading
partners, the euro will still find demand due to safe-haven
"Euros are more easily attained than dollars and there is a
concern that dollar-denominated assets could be more easily
subjected to sanctions," Woolfolk said.
The euro reached a session high Of $1.3905 before
slipping to $1.3852, up 0.15 percent.
Against the yen, the dollar rose 0.32 percent, to 102.48 yen
U.S. Treasury prices fell as investors embraced riskier
assets after upbeat housing numbers strengthened the view that
the world's largest economy was steadily recovering.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell
11/32 in price to yield 2.7077 percent.
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Additional reporting by Sujata Rao
in London; Editing by Dan Grebler and Leslie Adler)