* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.2 percent
* Cyclicals lead sell-off; insurers, miners down
* Novo Nordisk jumps after drug approval
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Nov 9 European shares fell in morning
trade on Friday, led lower by growth-linked stocks hit by
mounting concerns about a U.S fiscal crisis that could threaten
growth in the world's biggest economy .
Adding to poor sentiment were worries about Greece as it
inched towards securing its next tranche of urgently needed
international aid. The country will vote to approve its 2013
budget on Sunday, after Wednesday's tight vote in favour of a
13.5 billion euro austerity package.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares
fell for a third straight session and was down 0.2 percent at
1,096.13 points by 0942 GMT.
"Concerns about the U.S. 'fiscal cliff' and the situation in
Europe have been prompting investors to take some risk off the
table. We see a further downside potential for the market in the
short-term, but that could also represent interesting buying
opportunities," James Butterfill, global equity strategist at
"We are sticking to companies with strong balance sheets and
non-Europe revenues. In Europe we focus on sectors such as
pharmaceuticals and telecoms. We own shares in Vodafone,
GlaxoSmithKline and Shire."
The United States faces a potential $600 billion in
automatic spending cuts and tax rises next year, which could
drive the country back into recession.
The healthcare index, generally seen as a defensive
play, rose 0.6 percent to top the gainers list, helped by Novo
Nordisk, which jumped 9.4 percent after an advisory
panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late on Thursday
voted to recommend approval of its long-acting insulin degludec.
However, cyclical shares led the sell-off, with European
insurers falling 1.2 percent, banks down 0.9
percent and miners slipping 0.8 percent on worries about
the U.S. fiscal situation.
Exane BNP Paribas said in a note that conditions existed for
a recent rally in equity markets to resume once the U.S.
resolved its fiscal dispute, as valuations and loose monetary
policy were set to continue in the medium term.
"In the very short term, markets may continue to lack
clarity about the US fiscal outlook, as we do not expect a deal
before mid-December at the earliest," analysts at BNP Paribas
said in a note.
Among individual movers, French bank Credit Agricole
fell 6.4 percent after reporting a
steeper-than-expected 2.85 billion-euro loss, hit by an exit
from Greece and a series of other write-downs.