Buoyant Swiss blue-chips help Europe stocks extend rally
(Updates with closing levels)
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, Swiss SMI up 1.1 pct
* Switzerland's SMI index hits 6-1/2 year high
* "Overbought" Euro STOXX 50 up 5.7 pct in 3 weeks
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, June 10 (Reuters) - European stocks inched up on Tuesday, extending a three-week rally, led by gains in defensive Swiss blue-chips such as pharma group Novartis and food giant Nestle.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.3 percent higher at 1,398.18 points, led by Novartis and Roche, both up 2 percent, as well as Nestle, up 0.9 percent, stocks seen as defensive due to the resilience of their results throughout economic cycles.
"It's a positive sign to see defensive sectors gaining traction. Not just cyclicals are in vogue. It confirms that the bull trend is healthy and should last for a while," said Alexandre Tixier, analyst at TradingSat, in Paris.
"Resilient trading volumes are also a positive sign, with more and more retail investors getting in. The overall picture eclipses the fact that charts might show 'overbought' conditions in the short term." Continuación...