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27

European Stoks To Rise On Series of Takeovers

European stocks may extend last week's gain on speculation takeovers will increase...

European stocks may extend last week's gain on speculation takeovers will increase after Barclays Plc agreed to buy ABN Amro Holding NV for 67 billion euros ($91 billion) in the world's biggest-ever financial-services takeover, Bloomberg reported.

"Equities look set to continue their upbeat run,'' said Matt Buckland, a trader at CMC Markets in London. "No real let-up in quality merger and acquisition news is playing a large part in keeping markets buoyant.''

AstraZeneca Plc will probably buy U.S. biotechnology company MedImmune Inc.

Novartis AG might rise after Europe's third-largest drugmaker reported an unexpected increase in first-quarter earnings. Nestle SA will likely gain after the food company's sales topped analysts' estimates.

Futures on the Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 Index, a benchmark for the 13 countries using the euro, rose 12 to 4356 at 7:45 a.m. in London. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index may add 6, according to CMC Markets, a betting firm.

Takeovers have helped send the Stoxx 600 to the highest since September 2000 last week, lifting the index for its third weekly gain. So far in 2007, mergers in Europe have totaled $782 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They reached a record $1.6 trillion in 2006.