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* Commerzbank leads banking stocks lower
* Novo Nordisk and other health stocks outperform
* Hermes, Campari and Adidas touch record highs
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN/LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) - Gains in major healthcare and consumer goods stocks propped up European equities on Tuesday, offsetting persistent concerns over the region’s banking system.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index edged up 0.1 percent going into the close of trading, as did the similar FTSEurofirst 300 index.
Healthcare stocks outperformed to add the most points to the market, with Danish insulin maker Novo Nordisk climbing 3 percent after brokerage Nordea forecast another boost for the company’s Victoza diabetes product.
Some consumer goods and leisure stocks also outperformed, with Hermes, drinks maker Campari and sportswear company Adidas all touching record highs.
Berkeley Futures associate director Richard Griffiths said those stocks were benefiting from being considered as relative “safe havens,” given the market uncertainty following Britain’s shock vote in June to quit the European Union.
Other traders added that record low interest rates in the euro zone were helping consumer goods companies as lower rates could encourage people to spend more in spite of the weakening economic outlook caused by Brexit.
“Those safe-haven sectors such as healthcare and consumer goods are well supported,” said Griffiths.
However, bank stocks came under renewed pressure ahead of Friday’s release of European-wide stress tests.
Banks have been the worst sectoral performer this year due to concerns over capital being squeezed by margin pressure caused by ultra low interest rates.
Commerzbank shares also fell 4.9 percent after the German lender posted a decline in second-quarter core capital.
The FTSE Italia All Share Banks index also dipped, with the index down around 50 percent in 2016 due to worries about Italian banks’ bad debts. (Editing by Richard Balmforth)