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* STOXX Europe 600 index down 0.2 percent
* Actelion slumps as J&J ends potential deal talk
* Colruyt falls after results
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Dec 14 European shares retreated from an
11-month high on Wednesday, with Switzerland's Actelion
slumping after U.S. healthcare company Johnson & Johnson
ended discussions over a potential deal with Europe's largest
Actelion shares fell nearly 8 percent after J&J said it was
not able to reach an agreement that it believed would create
adequate value for its shareholders. J&J said in November it was
in preliminary talks about a takeover of Actelion, then valued
at about $20 billion.
The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the
matter, reported that Sanofi had filled the gap left
by J&J and was now in talks with Actelion. Sanofi shares were
down 1.7 percent.
Colruyt also put pressure on the broader market as
its shares fell 8 percent after the Belgian supermarket group
announced results late on Tuesday.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.2 percent,
with healthcare and consumer staples sectors the biggest drags
on the benchmark index.
Investors awaited a policy meeting of the U.S. Federal
Reserve for hints about the market's near-term direction. A
quarter point move is priced in, as are two more hikes next
year. Any hint that the Fed may move more aggressively could
affect various markets.
"Although there should be no surprises given the very much
anticipated 25 basis points hike at today's meeting, the FOMC's
accompanying statement and the Fed's dot plot will set the
primary tone for the 2017 outlook for the U.S. monetary policy,"
said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, analyst at London Capital Group.
Italian banks remained choppy. After moving in
and out of negative territory, the index was trading flat,
giving up some of the strong gains seen in the previous session.
Rating agency Moody's changed its outlook on the Italian
banking sector to 'negative' from 'stable' late on Tuesday due
to increasing capital needs and weakening confidence.
Shares in Monte dei Paschi di Siena were earlier
halted after rising more than 4 percent as the troubled Italian
lender confirmed the European Central Bank had rejected its
request for more time to raise capital. Its shares were last
down 2 percent.
However, strong gains by some companies limited losses.
German retailer Metro jumped 5.2 percent, the
biggest gainer in STOXX 600 index, after reporting better than
expected fourth-quarter operating profit for the food and
consumer electronics businesses it hopes to split in a demerger
Mediaset extended the previous session's 30 percent
rally and was up 4 percent on Wednesday as top shareholder
Fininvest and Vivendi both raised their stakes in the
Italian broadcaster. Mediaset shares have jumped more than 75
percent in about two weeks.
(Editing by Andrew Heavens)