* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.2 pct
* M&A activity boosts health care sector
* Investors reluctant to take fresh bets ahead of Fed
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Sept 13 European stocks dipped in early
trade on Friday, halting their week-long rally, although the
retreat was limited by M&A activity in the health care sector.
Shares of German hospital chain Rhoen-Klinikum
jumped 12 percent in huge volumes after saying it will sell
assets to Fresenius for 3.07 billion euros. The news
also boosted Fresenius stock, up 4.5 percent.
At 0725 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,246.37 points, while
the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was
down 0.2 percent at 2,856.90 points, retreating from a two-year
high hit on Thursday.
Investors were reluctant to take any fresh bets ahead of the
U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week, at which the
central bank is set to trim stimulus measures despite a
lacklustre August jobs report.
The Fed's quantitative easing programme has been a major
factor in the global equity rally over the past year, with the
FTSEurofirst 300 up 32 percent since June 2012.
"The market has risen quite a lot, so even though we're
positive for the medium term, we're looking at booking profits
on a number of stocks at these levels," Christian Jimenez, fund
manager and president of Diamant Bleu Gestion, in Paris.
"But all in all, the end of the Fed's quantitative easing is
good news. It means that the U.S. economy is back on track.
There will be collateral damage though, in emerging markets in
particular, while Europe should benefit from the flow dynamic."
Adding to speculation about a change of tack at the Fed,
Japan's Nikkei newspaper said on Friday that U.S. President
Barack Obama will name former Treasury Secretary Lawrence
Summers as chairman of the Federal Reserve early next week.
"Larry Summers is seen as less dovish than Ben Bernanke but
no-one really knows what he stands for in terms of monetary
policy," Michael Hewson, senior market analyst at CMC Markets,
"I think it's that uncertainty more than anything else that
is making investors nervous."
(Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa in London; editing by
Chris Pizzey, London MPG Desk, +44 (0)207 542-4441)