EUROPE MARKETS: HSBC, AXA Among European Market Movers

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.2% Monday, turning lower as investors appeared to back away from bargain hunting in the wake of the market's nearly 3% slide last week.

Movers

HSBC Holdings PLC shares gained 0.9% after the banking sector heavyweight reported a drop in first-half net profit but offered positive comments about prospects for key Chinese and U.K. markets.

Intertek Group PLC shares bounced 6.8% higher as the safety and testing products company raised its increased interim dividend by 7% to 16 pence a share, from the year-earlier period.

AXA SA rose 2.4% as Bank of America-Merrill Lynch upgraded the French insurer to buy from neutral. Following significant year-to-date share-price underperformance, better-than-expected first-half financial results, "and encouraging signals from management on strategy, we think now is the right time to become more constructive on the shares," wrote analyst Blair Stewart.

Banco Comercial Português SA picked up 6.1% after Portugal's central bank late Sunday unveiled a plan to rescue troubled lender Banco Espírito Santo.

Iliad SA fell 1%, extending Friday's 7% drop after the French cellphone company made a $15 billion offer to buy a stake in T-Mobile US (TMUS).

More must-reads from MarketWatch:

Hollande calls on Germany to do more for EU growth

German businesses warm to Iran as relations with Russia cool

Russia eyes industrial-output growth of 2%: report

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  08-04-141224ET
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This article appears in: Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AXAHY , BCP , BPCGY , CS , HBC1

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