Gold prices rose to their highest level in around a year on Tuesday, as demand for safe-haven assets remained strong in the wake of North Korea’s most powerful nuclear test to date.
Geopolitical risks tend to boost demand for safe havens such as gold, which is considered a good store of value during volatility in other markets.
Comex gold futures jumped $10.30, or around 0.8%, to $1,340.77 a troy ounce by 2:50AM ET (0650GMT), after touching its best level since September 27, 2016 at $1,345.50 earlier.
The yellow metal did not settle on Monday due to the U.S. Labor Day holiday.
Germany’s Merck (NYSE:MRK) KGaA is considering selling its $1 billion (773.7 million pounds) consumer health unit to meet its financial targets as a decline in its liquid crystal business forces it to review its strategy.
Industry experts have for years viewed the consumer business — whose brands include nutritional supplements Seven Seas and Bion and decongestant Nasivin – as lacking critical scale.
Sources have said that management has informally sounded out prospective buyers on numerous occasions over the years, only to be held back by the founding family, which still owns 70 percent of Merck and favours a diversified strategy for the drugmaker.
“We expect increasing internal constraints to fund the business to reach the required scale. Fully anticipating this, we are preparing strategic options,” Belen Garijo, chief executive of the healthcare business, said in a statement.
“Any possible proceeds from a potential transaction would be used to deliver on the company’s overall financial targets.”
By Georgina Prodhan and Ludwig Burger
Britain’s Aveva Group said on Tuesday it had agreed to combine with Schneider Electric’s software business to create a London-listed leader in industrial software worth more than 3 billion pounds ($3.88 billion).
France’s Schneider will take a 60 percent stake in the enlarged group under the terms of the deal, which is structured as a reverse takeover, the companies said.
The tie-up comes after two abandoned attempts to agree a deal in 2015 and last year.
Chief Executive James Kidd said the deal would give Aveva a bigger presence in sectors such as food and beverages and pharmaceuticals as well as in its strongholds in oil and gas, mining and marine.
It will also benefits from Schneider’s bigger position in North America, he said.
Aerospace supplier United Technologies Corp (N:UTX) has struck a $30 billion agreement to buy avionics and interiors maker Rockwell Collins Inc (N:COL), the companies said on Monday, in a deal that bulks up UTC’s power with plane makers by creating one of the world’s largest makers of civilian and defense aircraft components.
Farmington, Connecticut-based United Technologies will pay $140 per share for Rockwell Collins, split between $93.33 per in cash and $46.67 in stock, according to the companies. The price represents a 17.6 percent premium to Rockwell’s $119 share price before news of the talks emerged on Aug. 4.
Shares of Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Rockwell Collins closed at $130.61 on Friday. U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.
The acquisition price implies a total transaction value of $30 billion, including Rockwell Collins’ debt, and a total equity value of $23 billion. United Tech said it plans to fund the cash portion through debt issuances and cash on hand.
By Alwyn Scott and Mike Stone