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Pharma declines in Europe


by Elaine Frei
November 28, 2006

In Europe on Tuesday, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 came back from early losses but still ended the session 0.3 percent lower to 1,425.35. The 300 was down 0.6 percent at one point on the session.

The pharmaceuticals sector was lower. Roche dropped 1.5 percent to SFr215.50 even though Bear Stears made positive comments, reaffirming its “outperform” rating and target share price of SFr280 for the Swiss drug maker. Meanwhile, Akzo Nobel was 1.7 percent lower to €41.86 after announcing that US drug company Pfizer had dropped out of a development deal with the Dutch group.

Utilities were lower as well. Finnish utility Fortum dropped 1.4 percent to €22.44 after it abandoned plans to raise electricity rates for its domestic non-commercial customers. Iberdrola issued an expected bid for Scottish Power but the offer was lower than expected, sending its shares 2.1 percent lower to €32.06. German utility RWE, up recently on bids rumors, fell 2.6 percent to €83.80.

The automobile manufacturing sector was mixed as the euro hit its highest level in almost two years in relation to the US dollar. Volkswagen and Porsche were both higher, with Porsche adding 0.3 percent to €854.55 and VW gaining 2.5 percent to €82 on rumors that Porsche was building more of a stake in VW. On the other hand, BMW and Renault each dropped 0.3 percent, to €41.72 and €91.25 respectively, while DaimlerChrysler was 0.7 percent lower to €43.96.



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