By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
European stocks mostly rose on Thursday, with the exception of U.K. equities, as multinationals suffered from the continued run-up in the pound.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.49% increased 0.28% to 404.30.
However, the U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.14% declined 0.28% to 7168.33. The rise in the pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0991% , on the expectation that the Conservatives will secure a majority in Parliament after the December 12 general election, is weighing on U.K.-based multinationals that generate most of their revenue outside the country.
Of stocks in the spotlight, shares in Italian jacket maker Moncler /zigman2/quotes/206834293/delayed IT:MONC +1.50% surged after Bloomberg reported Kering, the French luxury brands owner, has held exploratory talks on buying it. Kering /zigman2/quotes/204653408/delayed FR:KER +1.07% shares rose 1%.
In a statement, Moncler said Remo Ruffini, the chairman and 22% owner, “would like to clarify that from time to time he maintains contacts and interacts with investors and other sector participants, including the Kering group, in order to explore strategic potential opportunities to further promote the successful development of Moncler. At the moment, however, there is not any concrete hypothesis under consideration.”
An analyst at ING said a buyout price could be 13 billion euros ($14.4 billion). Analysts at Morgan Stanley, who say Moncler could fetch 12.25 billion euros, said the Italian group would be a “plug-and-play” acquisition for Kering and a way for the French company to reduce its dependence on the Gucci brand.
Glencore /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN +7.48% , the U.K.-listed, Swiss-based commodities broker, saw its shares slump over 6% as it said it’s been notified by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office that it’s opened an investigation into suspicions of bribery. Glencore said it will cooperate with the probe. Glencore has previously said the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Justice Department were investigating it over the company’s business in the Congo, Venezuela and Nigeria.
M&G shares /zigman2/quotes/214468176/delayed UK:MNG +3.92% dropped for a second day, losing 1.3%, after the fund manager on Wednesday suspended redemptions from its flagship property fund .