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European stocks close flat, Deliveroo plummets on debut

For Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal

Mar 31 (Reuters) – European stocks were flat on Wednesday as a 30% plunge in delivery company Deliveroo on its London Stock Exchange debut dull the fourth consecutive quarterly advance of the benchmark STOXX 600.

* The pan-European STOXX 600 Index fell 0.1% to 430.1, below its pre-pandemic peak of 433.9. The benchmark closed March with a rise of 6.2% and the first quarter with a gain of 7.8%.

* The German DAX fell 0.1% after breaking the 15,000 mark for the first time on Tuesday, while the British FTSE 100 fell 0.9%.

* Deliveroo shares opened well below their initial public offering price, declining to 271 pence. The firm had priced the IPO at 390 pence per share, giving it a valuation of 7.6 billion pounds ($ 10.5 billion), lower than initially expected.

* Its continental peers Just Eat Takeaway and Delivery Hero lost 1.5% and 1%, respectively.

* “Deliveroo went completely to nothing in a highly anticipated debut that failed,” said Russ Mold, chief investment officer at AJ Bell. “The narrative took a turn for the worse when multiple fund managers came out saying they would not support the business because of concerns about their labor practices.”

* Swedish retailer H&M fell 3.3% after reporting a quarterly loss and announcing that it will not propose a dividend at its annual general meeting.

* Economically sensitive sectors such as cars, banks and travel and leisure performed the best in Europe this quarter, as investors expect the reopening of economies to encourage growth.

(Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)

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