Santander offers a reasonable degree of safety within a European sector that lacks clear direction, according to JP Morgan, which maintains an “over-weight” rating. However, JP Morgan cautions that the current valuation leaves little room for earnings disappointment, Spain remains a drag, and some post-deals capital hike cannot be totally discarded.

Nomura has a “neutral” rating for Richemont, but has upgraded its estimates and price target to reflect the group’s strong trading for the past five months. Nomura believes that Richemont is well positioned in the current climate (brands, emerging markets, conservative management), and says the shares look fairly valued at current levels.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch BoAML) said that even assuming a 20 per cent premium to the stock’s historic average, the current price for Aveva seems to be discounting 20 per cent upgrades. BoAML has moved Aveva from “neutral” to “sell” and said the group is a potential M&A take-out candidate – and is already more than pricing-in the risk of a take-out.