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* STOXX ends down 0.5 percent
* Actelion slumps as J&J ends potential deal talk
* Colruyt falls after results
* Greek shares underperform
By Atul Prakash and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, Dec 14 European shares fell 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 biotech firm.
Actelion shares fell 9.2 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.
Sources said Actelion was now in talks with French drugmaker
Sanofi about a deal. Sanofi shares fell
Colruyt also put pressure on the broader market as
its shares fell 9.4 percent after the Belgian supermarket group
announced results late on Tuesday. Even though net
profit beat market expectations investors were disappointed by
its weak growth outlook.
The pan-European STOXX 600 ended down 0.5 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 fell 2.8 percent. 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 fell 2 percent
as the troubled Italian lender confirmed the European Central
Bank had rejected its request for more time to raise capital.
The Greek blue chip index fell 3.2 percent, weighed
down by heavy losses among its banks after the euro zone's
bailout fund said it had put short-term debt relief measures for
the country on hold.
However, strong gains by some companies limited losses.
German retailer Metro jumped 3.6 percent after
reporting better than expected fourth-quarter operating profit
for the food and consumer electronics businesses it hopes to
split in a demerger next year.
Mediaset extended the previous session's 30 percent
rally and was up 1 percent 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 Alison Williams)