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MILAN, Dec 16 (Reuters) - European shares were set for a second straight week of gains with benchmark indexes holding near 11-month highs, with takeover expectations lifting Actelion to fresh record highs.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent by 0816 GMT helped by gains among pharma and oil sector stocks.
The index has gained almost 6 percent in the past two weeks boosted by a rally in banking stocks on expectations that rising yields would ease margin pressure and a further underpinned by the strengthening of the dollar.
Actelion rose more than 8 percent, making it the biggest gainer on the STOXX. People close to the matter cited by Bloomberg said French rival Sanofi is discussing a price of about $275 per share to take over the Swiss drugmaker in a deal that could come as soon as next week.
Sanofi was down 0.8 percent.
Banks were on the back foot, down 0.3 percent, after hitting their highest since January on Thursday. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)