LONDON European shares pulled back from 11-month high on Wednesday, with Switzerland's Actelion (ATLN.S) slumping after U.S. healthcare company Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) ended discussions regarding a potential deal with Europe's largest biotech firm.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.4 percent in early trading with healthcare and consumer staples sectors the biggest drags on the benchmark.
Italian banks .FTIT8300 fell 1.5 percent giving up some of the strong gains seen in the previous session. Shares in Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) were halted after rising more than 4 percent as the troubled Italian lender confirmed the European Central Bank had rejected its request for more time to raise capital.
Mediaset (MS.MI) extended its rally with shares rising 7.4 percent and the top performers on the STOXX 600. Top shareholder Fininvest and Vivendi (VIV.PA) both raised their stakes in the Italian broadcaster. Mediaset shares are now up 40 percent in two days.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)