European stocks subdued on Orsted profit warning; Carrefour surges By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

(Reuters) – European stocks were little changed on Wednesday as a profit warning from Danish wind farm developer Orsted (OTC:) hit utilities, while French grocer Carrefour (PA:) jumped following merger talks.

Carrefour SA (OTC:) was up 10.6​​​​​​​% after Canadian convenience-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc said it had approached Europe’s biggest retailer to discuss a combination.

The stock topped gains on Paris’ , which was up 0.2%, while shares in French retailer Casino jumped 6.4%.

Another big gainer was Spanish telecom company Telefonica (NYSE:), which rose over 8​​​​​​​% 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 ($9.41 billion) in cash.

However, the pan-European index rose just 0.1%, as utilities were a drag after Orsted slumped 7.5​​​​​​​% on warning a return to more normal wind speeds this year would hit operating earnings.

The German remained muted as Health Minister Jens Spahn said the country will not be able to lift all restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus at the beginning of February.

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