Italy’s spending deficit as a proportion of gross domestic product was slightly higher in 2017 than in the previous year, data showed Friday. Luigi Di Maio, the country’s deputy prime minister, said earlier today that the government’s flat tax and universal income policies would be integrated into its 2019 budget, raising concerns that it could head for a standoff with Europe over the proposed measures.
In dealmaking news, ride-hailing firm Uber is reportedly in early discussions to buy food delivery upstart Deliveroo for several billion dollars. Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the plans, said any offer would need to be considerably higher than Deliveroo’s last reported valuation of more than $2 billion. Shares of listed competitors Just Eat and Delivery Hero fell on the news, down almost 8.5 percent and 2.2 percent respectively.
Looking at individual stocks, shipping firm Moller-Maersk climbed 2 percent after HSBC upgraded the stock to “buy” from “hold,” and raised its price target to 11,100 Danish krone ($1,754) from 9,100 Danish krone.
Meanwhile, engineering company Smiths Group tanked 6 percent after the firm reported worse-than-expected full-year results. The group said its profits were hurt by short-term issues at its medical unit.