Rise in healthcare stocks lifts European equities
LONDON Jan 12 (Reuters) - A rise in healthcare shares, following renewed signs of industry consolidation after Shire Plc agreed to buy NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion, lifted European equities on Monday.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.3 percent to 1,352.67 points in early session trading, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced 0.6 percent.
Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.3 percent, helped by a 1.4 percent rise in Shire after its deal to buy NPS.
"The Shire deal is likely to mean that there will be no fresh bid speculation coming through on Shire itself, although the ongoing consolidation within the industry means the sector will remain of interest to investors," said Terry Torrison, managing director at Monaco-based McLaren Securities.
Other healthcare stocks also advanced, with the STOXX Europe 600 Healthcare Index rising 0.8 percent.
Roche rose 1 percent after Roche's move to acquire a majority stake in molecular and genomic analysis firm Foundation Medicine Inc for up to $1.18 billion.
Sanofi also climbed 1.5 percent after the European Medicines Agency agreed to review an application by Sanofi and Regeneron for their cholesterol-lowering drug alirocumab. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Atul Prakash)
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