Gains in Drugmakers Push European Stocks Higher for a Third Day

Health Care Stocks Lead Stoxx 600’s 3rd Day of Gains

European stocks extended their highest level in almost 13 months, with drugmakers leading gains in defensive companies and cyclical shares lagging in a reversal of a recent trend.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3 percent at the close, capping its biggest three-day advance since early December. The benchmark earlier climbed as much as 0.6 percent. Actelion Ltd. jumped 19 percent, pushing drugmakers to the best performance among industry groups, while carmakers and miners fell.

  • Analysts estimate profits at Stoxx 600 companies will grow by almost 14 percent in 2017 and about 10 percent in 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
  • STMicroelectronics NV climbed 8.1 percent after saying chip market trends, customer bookings and sales at distributors all point to good momentum in 2017.
  • Actelion jumped the most on record after Johnson & Johnson agreed to buy the Swiss drugmaker for $30 billion.
  • Germany’s benchmark DAX Index climbed 0.4 percent, closing at its highest level since May 2015.

— With assistance by Elena Popina

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