European Stocks to Watch

Here some of Friday's big movers on European stock markets:Boehler-Uddeholm, Verbund, Thomson, Bekaert, Imperial Tobacco, Unilever, TUI, Dexia and Pirelli.

Boehler-Uddeholm (up 4.57%) Shares in Boehler-Uddeholm rose for the third straight day, defying falling markets as talk of a takeover offer for the Austrian specialty steelmaker refuses to die down despite Germany's Salzgitter saying on Thursday it is not in talks to buy Boehler.

Verbund (up 4.29%) Verbund’s shares traded higher after it agreed to buy 50% of Turkey's Enerji late Thurday.

Thomson (up 3.51%) Shares in French electronics group Thomson’s shares increased as Merrill Lynch upgraded the company to buy from neutral, saying their core business is finally coming to the fore.

Bekaert (up 3.35%) Belgian steel cord and wire manufacturer Bekaert reported a better than expected 7% rise in operating profits on Friday, sending its shares trading up on the Belgium's benchmark Bel-20 index.

Imperial Tobacco (up 2.75%) Imperial Tobacco's shares remained up after Dresdner Kleinwort said it estimates that the British tobacco company could bid 50 euros for Franco-Spanish rival Altadis and deliver double-digit earnings enhancement.

Unilever (up 2.70%) Shares in food and household products giant Unilever rose on Friday as speculation circulated that it may be attracting interest from private equity firms.

TUI (down 2.55%) TUI leads the DAX losers as declining international freight rates in shipping are expected to apply pressure to the stock.

Dexia (down 2.29%) Belgian-French Bank Dexia’s shares traded lower after chief executive Axel Miller announced Friday that Dexia will not take part in the banking sector consolidation.

Pirelli (down 2.13%) Pirelli’s stocks fell as investors speculate that the Italian conglomerate will be forced to sell its stake in Telecom Italia's holding company at a lower price than its desired 3 euros per share.