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Pharmaceutical Takeover with Russia Testing Self-driving

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Investors switched into risk appetite on Monday and stocks on the main European exchanges posted strong gains. Sentiment clearly brightened with the acceptance of the Brexit deal by the European Union, but the biggest stake and the crucial issue for the markets will be the vote in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Crude oil strengthened substantially, contributing to valuations of related shares.

The FTSE 100 finished 1.2% up, led by energy utility Wood Group’s 6% leap. The German DAX index jumped 1.45%, with Covestro jumping 5.08% to the top of the chart. The CAC 40 ended 1.08% in positive territory, right above the psychological 5,000-point mark. TechnipFMC was the best performer, up 5.24%.

CVS cleared in New York for takeover of Aetna

CVS Health Corp. and CVS Pharmacy Inc. received a green light for remedies concerning the deal to purchase Aetna Health Insurance Co. of New York, local regulators said. Aetna Inc.’s subsidiary can be taken over with conditions including consumer and health insurance rate guarantees, privacy controls, cybersecurity compliance, according to a statement released on Monday by the Department of Financial Services. It revealed $40 million was agreed to be spent on health insurance education and enrollment and other programs.

DFS continues its strong commitment to ensuring that New Yorkers have quality, affordable health care and an insurance market that protects consumers, said Superintendent Maria Vullo and cited conclusions from a public hearing and an "extensive" period for public input.

The United States Department of Justice earlier approved the pharmacy chain operator’s $69 billion acquisition of the insurance giant with conditions. The enterprise value was $77 billion at the time of the deal.

Russia to start experiment on self-driving cars

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed on Monday an act that will enable the experiment on self-driving cars on public roads, TASS reported. The official noted that the autonomous driving experiment will begin on December 1 this year in Moscow and Tatarstan.

"I have signed a government decree to hold an experiment on the pilot operation of highly automated motor vehicles on public motorways," said Medvedev. He added: "This provision will be used on a test basis on the territory of certain areas in Moscow and Tatarstan." The prime minister highlighted the importance of laying grounds for the regulations in this new sphere.

Meanwhile, Russian ride-hailing service Yandex Taxi confirmed that it will join the experiment that is expected to last until March. "Yandex will take part in testing to expand zones and conditions for testing of the self-driving technology. We repeatedly stated the need for such an initiative and appreciate its taking," the company stated.

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