* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.2 pct
* Novo Nordisk down 12 pct after U.S. regulatory setback
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Feb 11 European shares fell on Monday,
with pharma group Novo Nordisk down 12 percent after
suffering a major regulatory setback.
Shares in the world's biggest insulin maker weighed on the
pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index after the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration asked for additional tests before it
would consider approving the firm's new drug..
The stock knocked 1.7 points off the FTSEurofirst 300, which
was down 3 points, or 0.3 percent, at 1,158.93 points at 0934
The Euro STOXX 50 was down 0.2 percent at 2,626
points, having fallen 4 percent in the previous two weeks as a
corruption scandal threatens political instability in Spain and
an election race in Italy became tighter.
Some fund managers and analysts said this was a buying
opportunity as the index was likely to extend its gains in the
rest of the year, helped by a rotation into riskier assets as
the global macroeconomic picture improved.
The Euro STOXX 50 sent a bullish technical signal on Friday
as it closed above its 200-week moving average at 2,616 and a
top tested twice in 2012 at 2,611.
That showed buyers were still willing to support the market
and the trend for the remainder of the year remained positive.
"It should mean that we should have another top on the Euro
STOXX 50 in the next couple of weeks," Valerie Gastaldy, head of
Paris-based technical analysis firm Day-By-day, said.
"Maybe it will take another couple of days to really bounce
because it has not stabilised and we may tests the level again,
but that could be a buying opportunity."
Some fund managers said they expected any short-term
correction in the Euro STOXX 50 to be shallow as private
investors and pension funds, which had largely missed a 34
percent rally in the index in the eight months to January,
rotated into equities and out of lower-yielding sovereign bonds.
The MSCI Euro zone index offered prospective returns this
year roughly 9 percent higher than Germany's 10-year sovereign
bond, Thomson Reuters Datastream data showed.
"The correction should be limited - no more than 5 percent
from current levels - because everybody wants to get in," Didier
Duret, chief investment office at ABN-Amro in Geneva, said.
"We may be in a period where the earnings are not very
colourful but where we see multiple expansion because the market
is reducing the risk premium."
He estimated the MSCI Europe index, which traded at 12 items
its expected earnings for the next 12 months on Monday, to see
its valuation multiple expand to 13, with more gains on the
cards if the earnings picture improved.
The European earnings season has so far been mixed.
With a quarter of it gone, 40 percent of companies in the
STOXX 600 Europe index that have reported have missed
consensus estimates, Thomson Reuters Starmine data showed.
Goldman Sachs strategists expected an improved economic
picture to support equities over the year, after a period of
consolidation over the next three months after the recent sharp
They downgraded the asset class to "neutral" from
"overweight", while making the opposite change for cash.
Fund flows data also suggested investor appetite for
European equities has slightly dampened. Europe equity funds
recorded outflows of $264 million in the week ending Feb. 6,
EPFR Global data showed.