LONDON, June 7 European equities drifted along
in early deals on Wednesday as investors shied away from riskier
assets a day ahead of voting in the UK's general election, while
Spanish lenders were also in focus.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat in
percentage terms, while Britain's FTSE 100 index
advanced 0.2 percent and Germany's DAX declined 0.2
Spanish banks helped the IBEX shake off an early
fall to gain 0.2 percent, after Santander said it would
buy struggling peer Banco Popular and carry out a
capital increase of around 7 billion euros ($7.9 billion).
Shares in Santander reversed course to trade 0.3 percent
higher, while Banco Popular's shares were suspended. Peers BBVA
and Caixabank also advanced.
Covestro dropped nearly 5 percent after Bayer
cut its stake further in the plastics maker to 44.8
percent from 53.3 percent.
On the positive side, shares in utilities E.ON
and RWE rose 4.7 percent and 3.8 percent,
respectively, after Germany's highest court ruled that a nuclear
tax is illegal.
(Reporting by Kit Rees; Editing by Hugh Lawson)