AstraZeneca and Deutsche Bank drag down European shares
* FTSEurofirst 300 falls 0.3 pct
* AstraZeneca slumps after rejecting "final" Pfizer bid
* Deutsche Bank down after capital increase, hits bank stocks
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) - European equities slipped on Monday, pulled down by pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca , which slumped after rejecting a bid from Pfizer , and by Deutsche Bank's capital increase.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which last week hit a 6-year high of 1,372.81 points, was down 0.3 percent at 1,357.47 points in late-session trading. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also retreated 0.3 percent to 3,164.52 points.
AstraZeneca's shares dropped 10.5 percent to take the most points off the FTSEurofirst 300, after the British firm rejected a sweetened "final" cash-and-stock offer from Pfizer, causing uncertainty as to whether the U.S. drugmaker would pull off its plan to create the world's biggest pharmaceuticals group.
"Despite Pfizer having spent a large amount of money and time, the signal seems clear from AstraZeneca's board of directors, UK politicians and mainstream media that this is a bad deal, and we see limited efforts from Pfizer going forward," said Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank.
"Its shareholders will not appreciate a fourth attempt as it will inflate the valuation too much relative to deal risk," he added. Continuación...