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Europe: Shares hit 1-year high on M&A deal

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[LONDON] European shares climbed to a one-year high on Thursday after news that Johnson & Johnson will buy the Swiss biotech firm Actelion in a US$30 billion deal.

The US healthcare giant will make an all-cash purchase that includes spinning off Actelion's research and development pipeline. The acquisition gives J&J access to the Swiss group's line-up of high-price, high-margin medicines for rare diseases.

Actelion's shares surged 20 per cent.

The broader market also got support from some positive earnings reports. Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics rose more than 6 per cent after posting in-line results for the final quarter of 2016, driven by solid phone and car part sales and improved factory utilisation.

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The pan-European STOXX 600 index was trading 0.6 per cent higher by 0819 GMT after hitting its highest level since December 2015. Germany's DAX rose to its highest since May 2015 and was last quoted 0.7 per cent higher.

REUTERS

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