November 25, 2016 / 10:42 AM / 2 years ago

European shares head for 3rd week of gains, Actelion leads

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* STOXX Europe 600 index edge higher

* Actelion hits record high on M&A report

* Commodities shares come under pressure

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Friday, heading for their third straight week of gains, with drugmakers leading the market after Swiss biotechnology firm Actelion surged on a report of a takeover approach by Johnson & Johnson.

Actelion leapt 15 percent to a record high after the Bloomberg report said that deliberations were at an early stage and that Actelion was working with an adviser to explore options. Actelion declined to comment, while J&J did not respond to a request for comment.

Actelion’s jump helped the STOXX Europe 600 Healthcare index to advance 1.2 percent, the top sector gainer in Europe.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent by 1012 GMT. It has gained 0.8 percent so far this week after rising in the previous two weeks. The index is up 4.5 percent since Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election.

“It looks as if the market is taking a breather after a good run. The market view is that Trump is going to spend more and will shield the U.S. more so that we get higher inflation and higher domestic growth,” Ronny Claeys, senior strategist at KBC Asset Management, said.

“The market has reacted positively on Trump, but this could change as his policies are vague at this stage. Investors will react more on his policy details.”

Gains in the broader market, however, were capped by weaker commodities stocks.

The European oil and gas index fell 0.5 percent after crude oil prices slipped more than 1 percent on a strong dollar, rising Saudi supplies to Asian clients and a fall in Chinese imports.

Miners fell 0.8 percent on a drop in major industrial metals, with shares in Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore declining between 1.0 percent and 1.8 percent.

Elsewhere, Daily Mail and General Trust slumped nearly 4 percent, the biggest STOXX 600 loser, after Barclays lowered its rating on the stock to “underweight” from “equal weight” and cut its target price to 705 pence from 715 pence. (Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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