4-28-14 4:52 AM EDT | Email Article

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch


LONDON (MarketWatch) -- European stocks rose Monday, with AstraZeneca PLC shares moving higher after Pfizer Inc. said it is trying again to court the drug maker into a multibillion-dollar takeover, but investors pulled down shares of Siemens AG as the company moved to buy a unit from France's Alstom SA.


The Stoxx Europe 600 picked up 0.3% to 334.49, topped by a 15% rally in AstraZeneca (AZN) after U.S. pharmaceutical maker Pfizer Inc. (PFE) said it has made a second attempt to talk to AstraZeneca about a merger "in light of recent market developments," but AstraZeneca again declined to engage. A potential takeover is valued at nearly $100 billion. AstraZeneca shares so far this year have climbed 31%. Pfizer also said it's currently considering its options.


Elsewhere on the M&A front, Siemens AG (SI) shares fell 2.3% after the German industrial conglomerate over the weekend bid $14 billion for energy units owned by French rival Alstom . The bid counters an offer by U.S. rival General Electric Co. (GE). France's President Francois Hollande was scheduled to meet with GE's Chief Executive Jeff Immelt on Monday to discuss GE's proposal to buy Alstom energy businesses, with the French government saying it wouldn't accept any "rushed" deal over assets it considers strategic.

   Shares in Alstom   have been halted since Friday. 

The Ukraine conflict was also still in view, after pro-Russia militants in the country captured Western military observers, accusing them of spying, and paraded them on Sunday in front of media. The U.S. and Group of Seven leaders have said new sanctions are on the way after Russia failed to hold to its side of a deal to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine.


On the benchmark indexes, U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.5% to 6,716.12, Germany's DAX 30 gained 0.6% to 9,458.39, and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.3% to 4,455.91.


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-Carla Mozee; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com


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04-28-14 0452ET

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