European shares fall, pulled down by drugmakers

martes 21 de julio de 2015 07:51 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 index down 0.3 percent

* Pharmaceuticals drop after Novartis results

* Gold miner Fresnillo rebounds

* Norsk Hydro up on better-than-expected earnings (Adds quote, detail)

By Atul Prakash and Alistair Smout

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

The STOXX Europe 600 Healthcare Index was the sector declining the most, falling 0.7 percent. Novartis dropped 2.1 percent after the Swiss drugmaker reported a weak performance by its eyecare division in the second quarter.

Novartis also came under pressure from a stronger dollar, which traders said could hurt earnings in general as investors anticipate an interest rate increase by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

"The move in Novartis today is largely down to a strengthening dollar. Some of it was priced in, but it's going to have a contuining effect moving forward," said Mark Foulds, sales trader at ETX Capital.   Continuación...