* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.1 pct
* BAE Systems continues rally after Investec upgrade
* Oerlikon surges as sells vacuum business
* Galp, Abertis fall after stake sales
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - European shares steadied near three-month highs on Friday, with a benchmark index set for its best week in a month, although the rally was held in check by sales of large stakes in some leading firms.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.11 percent to 1,503.76 points, having touched its highest since August on Thursday. It is up around 3 percent so far this week, putting it on track for its best week since October.
Tourism stocks have lagged the market, hit by security concerns thrown into sharp focus by last Friday’s attacks in Paris. Air France, down over 6 percent in the last two weeks, has experienced some reduction in traffic but it is too early to say how severe the impact of the attacks on bookings will be, a company source said.
Defence stocks, meanwhile, have outpaced the market. BAE Systems was up 1.2 percent, and has rallied more than 11 percent in little over a week.
It benefited from an upgrade to “buy” from “sell” from Investec, who cited “deteriorating geopolitical conditions” as limiting the risk to defence budgets in BAE’s core markets.
The STOXX Europe 600 was up 0.13 percent, while the Euro STOXX 50 was down 0.12 percent.
The top riser was industrial firm Oerlikon, up 7 percent after Sweden’s Atlas Copco said it would buy the Swiss company’s vacuum business for an enterprise value of 486 million euros in cash.
The disposal would increase Oerlikon’s margin profile and earnings quality “but also (shift) the current market’s focus away from the fears of the economic slowdown (especially in China),” Baader-Helevea equity analysts said in a note.
Galp Energia dropped 3 percent after Eni sold its remaining 4 percent stake in the Portuguese firm, raising 325 million euros.
Abertis also dropped, by 3.8 percent, after a stake sale, with CVC placing the remainder of its 6.4 percent holding.
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan; Editing by Catherine Evans