Drugmakers push European shares further away from highs

martes 21 de julio de 2015 04:30 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 index down 0.3 percent

* Novartis leads market lower after results

* Norsk Hydro up on better-than-expected earnings

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Tuesday after hitting a six-week high in the previous session, with the healthcare sector leading the market lower after Novartis reported quarterly incomes below analysts' expectations.

The STOXX Europe 600 Healthcare Index fell 1.0 percent, the top sectoral decliner in Europe, pressured by a 2.4 percent drop in Novartis after the Swiss drugmaker was hit by a weak performance by its eyecare division in the second-quarter.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.3 percent at 1,608.80 points by 0811 GMT after rising to a six-week high in the previous session.

"With Greece now having only a very limited impact on market action, focus is shifting to economic data and corporate earnings. After the close, all eyes will be on Apple and Microsoft, which are due to release their quarterly results," Markus Huber, senior analyst at Peregrine & Black, said.

"Much more action has been taking place in precious metals and oil as of late, with both having dropped sharply over the past few days and weeks. Should the slump in commodities persist and intensify, many will ask themselves if this is the precursor to another dip in global growth."   Continuación...