Roche and Italian banks stymie European share rebound

viernes 19 de diciembre de 2014 13:36 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 percent after Thursday's 3 pct rally

* Continental shares underperform Britain's FTSE

* Roche hit as two drugs fail tests

* Air France tumbles after third profit warning (Updates with detail, closing prices)

By Alistair Smout

LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Continental European stocks edged lower on Friday as a late advance was hindered by Swiss drugmaker Roche after two of its major drugs failed tests, with Italian banks under pressure from a downgrade by S&P.

The euro zone blue-chip EuroSTOXX 50 and the Swiss SMI both ended down 0.4 percent as all major continental indexes fell.

However, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares , which was boosted by a 1.2 percent surge in stocks on Britain's FTSE 100, rallied with Wall Street to end 0.4 percent higher at 1,361.07.

Healthcare stocks took the most points off the FTSEurofirst 300, with Roche the top faller, down 6.3 percent after tests of new Alzheimer's and breast cancer drugs both failed. Analysts said forecasts for 2015 would have to be revised downwards.   Continuación...