The latest Ifo business climate survey from Germany on Tuesday showed business morale climbing to a two-year high of 99.2 in May from April’s 96.6. However, German gross domestic product shrank by more than expected in the first quarter, contracting by 1.8% as coronavirus restrictions weighed on household spending.
Meanwhile, political fallout over Belarus’ “hijacking” of a Ryanair plane continued. President Alexander Lukashenko’s government forced the Lithuania-bound plane to land in Minsk, citing a potential security threat on board. State media in Belarus said Lukashenko had personally given the order.
Police arrested Raman Pratasevich, a prominent critic of Lukashenko, when passengers disembarked in Belarus’ capital city. His girlfriend Sofya Sapega, a 23-year-old Russian citizen studying at the European Humanities University in Lithuania, was also detained.
European leaders agreed to enact more sanctions on Belarus at a meeting on Monday and pushed for the immediate release of Pratasevich and Sapega.
Stateside, U.S. stocks gained for a second consecutive trading session. The major averages rose on Monday, led by tech stocks and companies that benefitted from a strong reopening from the pandemic as Covid cases dropped to their lowest level since June.
Vonovia, Deutsche Wohnen on the move after takeover deal
Deutsche Wohnen shares surged more than 15% to lead the Stoxx 600 after announcing that it had agreed to a $22 billion takeover bid from Europe’s largest residential property company Vonovia.
Britain’s Royal Mail added 6.6% after Peel Hunt upgraded the stock to “buy,” and looks likely to be promoted back to the FTSE 100 in the U.K. index’s reshuffle next week.
Vonovia’s share price fell 6% on the news. At the bottom of the European blue chip index, British travel booking service Trainline fell 8% as it continues to reel from the U.K. government’s planned overhaul of its rail system.
Related News: Here