Gains in healthcare stocks prop up European equities
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct in late trading
* Healthcare stocks boosted by gains at Shire
* Traders see support for equities from M&A and ECB
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, June 17 (Reuters) - European stock markets rose on Tuesday, to claw back ground lost in previous sessions, as new signs of possible takeover activity pushed up major healthcare and pharmaceutical stocks.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose by 0.2 percent to 1,387 points, after falling in the last two sessions from 6-1/2 year highs.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index gained 0.3 percent to 3,271.70 points and Germany's DAX rose by the same margin to 9,915.27 points, having recently slipped from its June 10 record high of 10,033.74 points.
Healthcare stocks such as Novo Nordisk and its UK rival Shire added the most points to the FTSEurofirst 300. Shire rose 3.3 percent after Reuters reported that the company had hired investment bank Citi as an adviser, expecting to receive takeover approaches following a wave of deals in the healthcare sector.
Sunrise Brokers' equity strategist Christopher Mellor backed healthcare stocks as his preferred equity sector for this month. Continuación...