* Europe's healthcare sector bruised by Trump drug prices
* Novo Nordisk, Inmarsat and BTG bottom of STOXX
* Italy's UBI Banca extends gains on bank rescue news
* British retail sector mixed after results
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By Helen Reid
LONDON, Jan 12 European shares fell on Thursday
in early deals, weighed down by healthcare stocks after U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump targeted pharmaceuticals' drug
pricing in a press conference.
Europe's healthcare sector index dropped 2.2
percent, the biggest sectoral faller, and headed for its biggest
loss since November. The pan-European STOXX 600 index
was down 0.5 percent.
Trump on Wednesday commented on the need for competitive
drug pricing, saying pharmaceutical companies were "getting away
with murder" by charging high drug prices.
"The healthcare companies in Europe are quite interconnected
with the U.S. so Trump's comments bode badly for the sector,"
said Jasper Lawler, senior market analyst at London Capital
Biotechnology was a top gainer in the last bull rally so
traditional market rotation dictates it should not lead the
Trump rally in any case, Lawler said. "A hostile policy [on
healthcare] just adds extra pressure."
Pharmaceuticals companies Novo Nordisk, Inmarsat
and BTG were the top STOXX fallers, with Novo
smarting from a U.S. class action lawsuit, down 5.3 percent.
Britain's Jupiter Fund Management also slumped, down
5.4 percent after reporting that clients pulled 373 million
pounds ($456 million) from its funds during the fourth quarter,
largely exiting European and multi-manager strategies.
Italy's UBI Banca was top of the STOXX, gaining 11
percent on news the bank would buy three rescued Italian banks
through a 400 million euro share issue.
Swiss luxury goods group Richemont was also a top
European gainer, its shares jumping 8 percent and heading for
their biggest one-day gain in nearly four years, after its
trading update indicated a pick-up in demand for watches and
jewellery. Peer Swatch Group also gained 5 percent.
Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 0.2 percent,
with retailers Tesco and AB Foods top fallers
despite results being in line with forecasts. Peer Sainsbury
was also down 2 percent.
"Tesco stock still has fulsome recovery earnings multiples,
the equity does not yet yield a dividend and on a pension and
lease adjusted basis the solvency ratios are still high in an
absolute and relative context," said Shore Capital analyst Clive
"Accordingly, we see this as a good statement, albeit
perhaps not good enough for the 'uber' bulls."
Rival supermarket Marks & Spencer was up 2.5 percent
after a strong Christmas trading update.
Basic resources and precious metals miners once again led
the index, boosted by a weaker dollar, with Randgold Resources
, Fresnillo, and Anglo American top
(Reporting by Helen Reid, editing by Kit Rees and Dominic