European Stocks to Watch

Here some of Wednesday's big movers on European stock markets: Alliance Boots, WM Morrison, Sainsbury, Tesco, Volkswagen, EADS, Xstrata and Deutsche Postbank.

Alliance Boots (up 15.77%) British drugs wholesaler and retailer Alliance Boots confirmed on Friday it had received a preliminary approach that may lead to an offer, sending shares soaring on the acquisition speculation.

WM Morrison (up 4.55%), J. Sainsbury (up 1.49%) and Tesco (up 2.07%) lead the FTSE-100 gainers as retail fared well overall. Takeover speculation boosted both Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s.

Volkswagen (up 3.37%) Volkswagen said Friday it expects 2008 pretax profit to be at least 5.1 billion euros, slightly increasing its previous guidance and sending shares higher.

EADS (down 5.23%) Major delays to Airbus' A380 superjumbo that led to a $1.01 billion fourth-quarter loss made 2006 the worst year in European plane builder EADS's history, the co-chief executive officer said Friday.

Xstrata (down 1.90%) The mining sector was off as copper and other base metal prices fell on the FTSE 100, sending shares lower.

Deutsche Postbank (down 1.70%) German mail and logistics firm Deutsche Post expects to make no major acquisitions in 2007, its chief executive said.