November 20, 2017 / 8:34 AM / in a year

German losses weigh on European shares as govt talks collapse

MILAN, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Germany’s main share index fell on Monday after the collapse of government coalition talks, further weighing on the broader European market which has already spent two straight weeks in the red.

While Germany’s DAX benchmark fell 0.3 percent, gains in pharma heavyweight Roche after positive trial news, along with dealmaking speculation in the utilities sector kept the STOXX 600 benchmark flat by 0820 GMT.

Roche rose 4.1 percent after the Swiss-based drugmaker announced a double dose of trial wins. The firm said its immunotherapy Tecentriq, mixed with other drugs, made advances against lung cancer, while data suggested its haemophilia agent Hemlibra could be used by more patients.

Among other top gainers on the STOXX on Monday was RWE , up 3.1 percent, after Reuters quoted sources as saying the German utility was looking at ways to cut its 16.8-billion euro stake in retail business Innogy, in what could involve a deal with Italy’s Enel.

Innogy shares firmed 1.2 percent.

The pan-European benchmark index is down 2.8 percent so far this month as investors have been locking in profits following a strong run so far this year.

Germany’s political crisis is also weighing. Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday her efforts to form a three-way coalition government had failed, pushing Europe’s largest economy closer to a possible new election.

The re-emergence of political risk could put more pressure on equities but some investors remain upbeat, heartened by solid economic activity.

“The recent weakness offers an attractive investment opportunity in European stocks,” Credit Suisse said in its investment daily. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; editing by Sujata Rao)

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