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Europe: Shares hit new 4-week high, Novo Nordisk leads

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[LONDON] European shares climbed to a new four-week high on Wednesday, with Novo Nordisk leading the market higher after a US advisory panel recommended approval of its new diabetes drug, while higher copper prices lifted miners.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.7 per cent in early dealings, with the index briefly touching its highest level since late April.

Novo Nordisk rose 3 per cent, the top FTSEurofirst 300 gainer, after the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) body recommended the approval of its drug that combines two of its existing treatments in a fixed-dose combination. Clinical trials showed the drug helped patients control their blood sugar and did so with one injection rather than two.

Miners were also in demand, with the STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index climbing 1 per cent after copper prices rose on brightening economic signs in the United States.

However, British retailer Marks & Spencer fell 6.3 per cent after saying that its new boss's plan to turn around the company's underperforming clothing and homewares business would impact short-term profit.

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