January 3, 2018 / 2:43 PM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-LIVE MARKETS-2017 sees record number of deals worldwide

    * European stocks rise
    * Next drives retail sector up after strong Christmas update
    * Tech stocks, industrials make gains
    * MiFID II reforms, U.S. Fed FOMC minutes in focus

    Jan 3 (Reuters) - Welcome to the home for real time coverage of European equity markets
brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Kit Rees. Reach her on
Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: kit.rees.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net
    
    2017 sees record number of deals worldwide (1435 GMT) 
        
    Deal making is another theme investors are considering at the beginning of the year, and
whether the M&A wagon will continue to roll on in 2018.
    Last year was another blockbuster year: the number of worldwide deals hit a record in 2017,
totaling $3.6 trillion, according to Thomson Reuters data.
    This was also the fourth year in a row where M&A activity surpassed $3 trillion.
    Interestingly while European M&A was up 17 percent in 2017, the U.S. saw a decline of 16
percent in the value of deals. Perhaps this is testament to the strength of the European
economy, or the fact that debt has been so cheap? Here's a graphic from our Deals Intelligence
colleagues:    
 
 
    (Kit Rees)
    
    **
    
    Gnawing on the bone of European equities: enjoy it while it lasts (1339 GMT)
    
    SocGen has repeatedly warned its clients that European equities are close to their
historical averages in terms of valuation. Its message today is that there is "not much meat on
the bone" left, even if today's traders seem to be in a clear "risk-on" mood. 
    Strategists reckon "exit strategies" will do better this year as central banks start to turn
the taps of stimulus off, and recommend holding sovereign bonds over equities. 
    "Be ready for the end of Goldilocks," strategists warn.
    Here are SocGen's top tips : 
 
 
 (Helen Reid and Julien Ponthus)
    
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