European Stocks Slip as Carrefour Abandons Takeover Talks

European stocks inched lower on Monday as French retailer Carrefour tumbled after ending 16.2 billion euro 19.57 billion merger talks with Alimentation CoucheTard, with worries about a slow economic recovery keeping investors on edge.

The panEuropean STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 after snapping a fourweek winning run on Friday, with losses in oil and utilities offset by gains in technology stocks.

Data showing a betterthanexpected quarterly rebound in Chinas economy failed to excite investors who feared that tight coronavirus restrictions and possible challenges to vaccine supplies in continent could dent growth in the first quarter.

A slide in oil prices dragged down stocks of BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total.

Carrefour fell 5.6 after its takeover talks with Canadas Alimentation CoucheTard failed and the two sides decided to work on partnership opportunities.

The stock has erased almost all its gains since the deal was announced last week. The proposed merger had faced strong opposition from the French government, which cited food security as the main concern.

With the great majority of MA speculation set to disappear on Carrefour today, the attention will refocus on the groups Q4 performance, equity analysts at Bryan Garnier wrote in a note.

Investors also kept an eye on political developments in Rome as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte faces two days of parliamentary votes that will decide if his fragile coalition can cling to power.

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