European shares end higher helped by defensive stocks, telecoms slump
* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index up 0.5 pct
* Telecom plunge as Orange-Bouygues deal fails
* Healthcare, utilities stocks lead gainers
* Lower banks weigh on Italy blue chip index (ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon (see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development) Adds closing prices)
By Atul Prakash and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, April 4 (Reuters) - European shares bounced back from one-month lows on Monday, led higher by gains in defensive stocks, but telecoms fell after talks between Orange and Bouygues on creating a dominant French operator collapsed.
Shares in French group Bouygues slumped 13.5 percent to around 30 euros, making their worst day in 17 years.
The STOXX Europe 600 Telecommunications index fell 1.1 percent to its lowest closing level since late February following the failure late on Friday of the proposed 10 billion euro cash-and-share deal.
Orange was down 6.2 percent. Other French telecom firms also dropped sharply, with Iliad, SFR and Altice all down by 12 and 18 percent. Continuación...