Weaker healthcare stocks weigh on European equities

martes 2 de septiembre de 2014 12:40 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 slips 0.1 pct to 1,375.93 points

* Bid target AstraZeneca falls; CEO says "back to normal"

* Rival healthcare stocks also fall

* Traders await ECB decision on Thursday

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - A fall in major healthcare stocks, after drugmaker AstraZeneca tried to play down speculation about a new bid from Pfizer, pegged back European stock markets on Tuesday.

Equity investors were also cautious pending any clues on policy from the European Central Bank on Thursday.

Few expect any major steps, but most expect ECB policy to loosen eventually, as persistent disinflation and conflict in Ukraine weigh on the euro zone's economy.

Some traders believed that stock markets had already made their move higher on anticipation of new ECB measures, and therefore had little room to gain any more ground.   Continuación...