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* STOXX Europe 600 index little changed
* Italian banks bounce on ECB support hopes
* Miners, Oils lead sectoral fallers
* Actelion hits fresh record
By Danilo Masoni and Atul Prakash
MILAN/LONDON, Nov 29 European shares rose
slightly on Tuesday, helped by a strong rebound in Italian
banks, while reports of a improved takeover offer sent Swiss
biotech Actelion rallying to a fresh all-time high.
Italy's bank index rose 4.1 percent, helped by a
Reuters report that the European Central Bank stands ready to
buy more Italian bonds if a referendum on Prime Minister Matteo
Renzi's constitutional reform this weekend rocks markets.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended up 0.3
percent with gains in the broader European banking sector more
than offsetting losses among mining and energy stocks.
Italian lenders UBI, Intesa Sanpaolo and
UniCredit rose between 3.1 and 5.8 percent, while
troubled lender Monte dei Paschi surged 17.5 percent,
erasing losses seen on Monday which were due to worries over its
ability to execute a vital 5 billion euros capital raising.
The Italian banking index has fallen around 15 percent from
its levels two weeks ago as investors reduced their exposure to
the country's assets before the Dec. 4 referendum that could
unseat Renzi. Renzi has said he would resign if the reform, as
polls predict, is rejected.
"Looking at today's moves, it seems that some investors are
considering the recent sell-off in Italian banks as overdone. It
could be some last minute portfolio adjustments ahead of the
referendum," Peter Dixon, economist at Commerzbank, said.
"All those uncertainties related to the Italian referendum
still exist. We will take a very cautious view on the country's
The chief executive of the Italian stock exchange said that
big international investors were holding huge short positions on
Later in the day, sentiment was boosted after Reuters
reported the ECB was ready temporarily to step up purchases of
Italian government bonds if the result of Sunday's referendum
sharply drives up the country's borrowing costs. Italian banks
have a big sovereign debt exposure.
Actelion ended up 10 percent, reversing earlier
losses after reports said U.S. healthcare company Johnson &
Johnson is raising its offer for Swiss group in an
attempt to win it over for a buyout.
The European basic resources index fell 1.4 percent,
the top sectoral decliner, as prices for lead and zinc fell more
than 6 percent from the previous day's multi-year peaks, as
sliding oil prices and perceptions that a post-U.S. election
rally had become overstretched prompted selling. Mining
companies Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, and
Fresnillo were the biggest fallers, down by between 3
and 3.9 percent.
The oil and gas index fell 0.9 percent, as oil
prices fell almost 4 percent on signs leading oil exporters in
OPEC were struggling to agree on a deal to cut production to
reduce global oversupply. BP was the biggest weight
to the index, falling 2.1 percent.
TalkTalk rose 3.1 percent, rebounding off 4-year
lows, after Britain's telecoms regulator said it would go to the
European Commission to try to force BT to legally
separate from Openreach, the network that delivers broadband to
millions of homes and businesses.
Openreach is the division of BT Group that develops and
maintains the UK's main telecoms network used by telecom
providers such as Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and
BT's retail business.
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni)