European stocks rise, buoyed by chemical and health shares
* M&A activity boosts healthcare stocks
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.5 pct, bouncing back from Friday's fall
* Peugeot buoyed by broker upgrade
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - European equities gained on Monday, led by rising healthcare stocks, after Shire agreed to buy NPS Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion and Roche also struck a deal.
Chemicals shares also performed well after U.S. investment bank Citigroup upgraded several European chemicals companies, including BASF.
Citi said that falling oil price would pose short-term problems for some of the companies, but a weaker euro would boost their earnings.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.5 percent to 1,352.67 points in early trading. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced 1 percent, rebounding from Friday.
The STOXX Europe 600 Healthcare Index rose 0.8 percent. Continuación...