* FTSEurofirst and STOXX 600 end 0.2 pct higher
* Roche boosted by trial success with cancer drug
* Banks impacted by slump at Spain’s Banco Popular (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. See the bottom of the report for more details) Adds details, prices)
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, May 27 (Reuters) - European shares were steady on Friday, propped up by the Swiss stock market and pharmaceuticals companies after drugmaker Roche climbed on positive results for one of its products.
The pan-European STOXX 600 and FTSEurofirst 300 equity indexes both rose 0.2 percent.
Both these benchmark European equity indexes are at one-month highs although they remain down by around 5 percent so far in 2016, as concerns about a slowdown in China - the world’s second biggest economy - have hit world markets.
Zurich’s benchmark SMI market outperformed to rise 0.8 percent, helped by a 4 percent gain at Roche which was among the best-performing European blue-chip stocks.
Roche got a big boost when a clinical trial testing its new blood cancer drug Gazyva proved successful, lifting prospects for a new medicine that will be pivotal as the Swiss company fights the threat of competition.
Roche’s move also pulled up peers such as Novartis and Sanofi.
“Switzerland’s SMI is outperforming today, mainly thanks to Roche, after the company published positive data this morning on an important product with multi-billion sales potential,” said Jerome Schupp, financial analyst at Swiss bank and fund management firm SYZ.
However, bank and energy stocks underperformed, with shares in oil companies losing ground after Brent crude oil prices dipped back below $50-per-barrel.
Banks were weighed down as Spain’s Banco Popular dropped 8.2 percent to a record low, a day after announcing a capital increase that prompted a 26.5 percent slump.
“Popular’s capital raise may put further pressure on Spanish banks to take additional provisions,” said Berenberg analyst Andrew Lowe.
Today’s European research round-up
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan)