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Europe: Shares edge up in quiet day led by Vestas, Domino's Pizza

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[LONDON] European shares edged up on Thursday, remaining within a recent range, as a boost from healthcare stocks was partly offset by weak telecoms and utilities.

The STOXX Europe 600 index ended up 0.3 per cent. The session was quiet with Wall Street shut for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Vestas rose 5.2 per cent after Credit Suisse lifted its price target on the world's biggest wind power company. The stock had fallen more than 20 per cent after climate change-sceptic Donald Trump won the race to the White House, raising uncertainty on US energy and renewables policies.

Credit Suisse, however, kept its underperform rating on the stock, saying investors should not underestimate its gearing to the US market, which is the company's largest. "Over time, we expect any relevant changes made by the US President-elect on US renewables to become clearer," it said.

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Domino's Pizza was another big riser, up 3.2 per cent. The company said it would step up its expansion plans after seeing a strong performance from new outlets and a positive market outlook. "The group continues to trade well and management is reiterating FY guidance," analysts at Numis said in a note, adding the stock looked cheap compared with competitors. "With renewed confidence in the rollout opportunity coupled with best practice from other Domino's franchisors we believe the discount to peers is overdone."

Heavyweight pharma stocks Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche all rose by between 0.5 and 1.1 per cent, as their sector rebounded following recent losses.

Chemical firm Arkema rose 1 per cent after UBS raised its target price on the stock.

Insurer Direct Line climbed 2.8 per cent after it was upgraded to "overweight" from "equal-weight" by Morgan Stanley. In all, insurers were up 0.3 per cent.

Ex-divs weighed on the market. TalkTalk, Vodafone and National Grid all traded without entitlement to their latest dividend payouts, dragging down telecoms and utilities.

Italian bank Monte dei Paschi rose 3.3 per cent ahead of an investor vote on a 5 billion euro share issue needed to stave off the risk of being wound down.