Media, pharma stocks help European shares edge higher
* FTSEurofirst 300 index rises 1 percent
* Media stocks up on M&A speculation related to ITV
* Novartis boosts drugmakers on new drug prospects
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher to trade near a recent one-month peak on Monday, with mergers and acquisitions speculation surrounding British broadcaster ITV helping media stocks and Novartis leading drugmakers.
Novartis, up 3.8 percent, was the top gainer on the FTSEurofirst 300 index on bets that a new medicine from the company could replace drugs that have been central to treating heart failure for a quarter of century.
Data released at the weekend beat expectations, showing the drug slashed deaths and hospitalisations, worked across all groups of patients, and had no serious side effects.
Novartis helped the STOXX Europe 600 Healthcare index to gain 0.8 percent, the top sectoral gainer, while ITV boosted the European media index, up 0.6 percent, following a British newspaper report, traders said.
The Telegraph reported that Liberty Global was canvassing support from major ITV shareholders following its acquisition of a 6.4 percent stake, raising speculation of a full takeover bid. Continuación...