July 29, 2019 / 7:40 AM / a month ago

European shares edge lower as Heineken disappoints; Fed in focus

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July 29 (Reuters) - European shares opened lower on Monday as weak earnings from brewer Heineken and an anxious wait for an expected U.S. interest rate cut offset a surge in London Stock Exchange Group on its potential deal to buy financial data firm Refinitiv.

The world’s second largest brewer slipped 5.6% after it missed estimates for first-half profit, while carrier Ryanair reported a slump in profit and warned on fares.

Shares of London Stock Exchange Group surged 11% after the exchange operator said it was in discussions to buy Refinitiv Holdings from U.S. buyout fund Blackstone Group for $27 billion, including debt.

Sanofi advanced 2.3% after it raised its 2019 outlook on the back of strong growth in its vaccines and rare diseases businesses.

That left the pan-European stocks benchmark index down 0.1% by 0710 GMT after ending last week up 0.9%.

Data showing slowing economic growth in the United States and a fall in China’s industrial profits last month solidified expectations for a 25 basis point cut in interest rates by the Federal Reserve, which is set to begin its two-day meeting on Tuesday.

London’s FTSE was the only major gainer in Europe, propped up by the LSE news and other deal talks as well as weakness in the British pound on worries over a no-deal Brexit.

Britain’s Just Eat soared 23.1% on news that it was in talks to be bought by rival online food delivery firm Takeaway.com in a potential 8.2-billion-pound ($10.1 billion) all-share deal. (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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