European shares off to sluggish start as miners weigh, FTSE up

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© Reuters. People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London© Reuters. People walk through the lobby of the London Stock Exchange in London

MILAN (Reuters) – European shares opened flat on Wednesday, weighed by a fall in mining stocks and lifted by a big rise for Ericsson (BS:) after an activist investor bought a stake in the telecoms equipment firm.

The broader pan-European STOXX 600 index () was down 0.02 percent by 0712 GMT and euro zone blue chips () added 0.1 percent. The FTSE () rose 0.2 percent, helped by a weaker pound which fell after a new poll showed Britain risks a hung parliament following a June 8 election.

Ericsson (ST:) rose 4 percent, leading STOXX gainers, after Cevian Capital bought a stake of more than 5 percent, saying it saw significant potential in the Swedish firm.

Cellnex (MC:) was another strong gainer after a Bloomberg report said that American Tower (N:) may bid. Cellnex said its management has had no contact with American Towers.

Top loser was Metro (DE:) after the German retailer reported results showing a loss at its consumer electronics division.

The Basic Resources index (), where major mining companies are listed, was the biggest sectoral faller, dropping 1.4 percent.

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