European shares turn positive, defensive stocks gain

LONDON Tue Dec 4, 2012 3:32am EST

LONDON Dec 4 (Reuters) - European shares turned slightly positive on Monday, with a rise in defensive stocks in the healthcare sector - seen as among the most resilient to an economic downturn - offsetting concerns over the U.S. budget.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up by 0.1 percent at 1,122.69 points by 0828 GMT, after having initially opened down by around 0.1 percent.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 0.2 percent to 2,587.36 points.

Healthcare stocks Sanofi and Roche added the most points to the FTSEurofirst 300 index, with brokerage Kepler raising its price target on Roche's shares to 206 Swiss francs from 190.

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