LONDON Dec 22 European shares edged lower on
Thursday, dropping further from their highest levels of the
year, though drugmaker Actelion provided support after
it entered exclusive discussions with prospective bidder Johnson
The STOXX 600 was down 0.2 percent, falling for a
second straight session after hitting its highest level since
Jan. 4 on Tuesday.
Outside the STOXX 600, shares in Monte Paschi
failed to open, and were indicated down 6 percent. It failed to
find an anchor investor for its private rescue plan on
Wednesday, and looks set for a state bailout.
Miners were the biggest sectoral fallers, down 0.9
percent as copper hit a 1-month low.
Top STOXX 600 riser was Actelion, which rose 7.7
percent to hit a record high.
The Swiss biotech company has turned back to potential
acquirer Johnson & Johnson for exclusive talks about a
"strategic transaction", in an about-turn that appears to
sideline rival suitor Sanofi.
Sanofi rose 1.8 percent.
Nokia was the top faller on the index, down 4.3
percent after it said it had filed a number of lawsuits against
Apple for violating technology patents.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Alison Williams)