UPDATE 2-Dealmaking edges European stocks higher as long lockdown looms


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markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
    * Carrefour hits Aug 2019 high on Couche-Tard approach
    * Telefonica jumps on mobile phone mast sale 
    * Orsted slides after profit warning

 (Updates to market close)
    By Amal S and Sruthi Shankar
    Jan 13 (Reuters) - European stocks closed slightly higher on
Wednesday, with deal-related gains in French grocer Carrefour
and Spain's Telefonica offsetting wider concerns about extended
COVID-19 lockdowns.
    Carrefour shares  CARR.PA  rose 13.4% to their highest level
since August 2019 after a surprise 16.2 billion euros ($19.72
billion) takeover approach from Canadian convenience-store
operator Alimentation Couche-Tard  ATDb.TO .  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JO0LA
    Its stock led gains in Paris' CAC 40  .FCHI , while shares
in French rival Casino  CARR.PA  rose 3.9%.
    Telefonica  TEF.MC  jumped 9.7% after it agreed to sell its
mobile phone masts in Europe and Latin America to U.S.-based
telecom infrastructure operator American Towers for 7.7 billion
euros ($9.4 billion).  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JO0EG
    While deal activity drove swings in regional markets and
sectors, the pan-European STOXX 600 index  .STOXX  rose just
0.1% as investors paused after last week's strong rally.
    Banks  .SX7P , travel companies  .SXTP  and automakers
 .SXAP  fell the most on fears that prolonged restrictions in
Europe to control soaring coronavirus cases will further slow a
recovery in earnings and economic growth.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2JO4OH
    "We're not going to see restrictions being lifted anytime
soon, so that's adding to fears of a decline in economic
activity," said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets.
    "The longer the economies are under lockdown the more likely
we're going to have loan defaults. That's impacting the banks."
    Germany, Britain and the Netherlands indicated strict
COVID-19 curbs would last into early February and Italy said it
would extend its state of emergency to the end of April.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2JO0YB urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JN15U
    Investors also kept an eye on political developments in Rome
after former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi threatened to pull his
tiny centrist party out of the ruling coalition.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JN1LP
    Italy's current premier Giuseppe Conte told reporters he was
working on a new coalition pact to last until the end of the
legislature. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nR1N2G800Z
    Italy's FTSE MIB  .FTMIB  rose 0.4%, while banking stocks
 .FTIT8300  fell 0.7%.
    JPMorgan cut its forecasts for Italy's economy, predicting
that longer restrictions will result in no growth in the first
quarter versus a previous forecast of 3.5% growth.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2JO4SA
    Danish offshore wind farm developer Orsted  ORSTED.CO  fell
4.9% after it said that a return to more normal wind speeds this
year would hit operating earnings.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JN24N
    Just Eat Takeaway  TKWY.AS  fell 4.1% as disappointing 2020
margin guidance overshadowed a 57% jump in fourth-quarter
orders.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JO0DK
    London Stock Exchange  LSE.L  gained 1.8% after EU antitrust
regulators gave the green light for its $27 billion takeover of
Refinitiv.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2JO3VC
    Siemens Gamesa  SGREN.MC  and Siemens Energy  ENR1n.DE  rose
1.6% and 4.2% respectively after the companies said they were
developing a commercial offshore wind turbine that produces
hydrogen via electrolysis.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2JO0VP 

 (Reporting by Amal S and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing
by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Alexander Smith)
 ((Amal.S@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S.+1 646 223 8780;
outside U.S. +91 80 6749 3677;))

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