European shares edge lower on disappointing company updates

LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Thursday after disappointing company updates, with Denmark’s Novo Nordisk leading the market down and Finnish retailer Kesko weakening on lower-than-expected sales.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.3 percent by 0812 GMT after gaining 0.9 percent in the previous session.

Novo Nordisk fell 6.7 percent, making it the biggest faller in the STOXX 600, after the world’s top maker of diabetes drugs said fourth-quarter operating profit came in below forecasts.

Kesko shares were down more than 6 percent after the company registered net sales of 2.77 billion euros in the fourth quarter. A Reuters poll had predicted the company’s net sales at 2.95 billion.

However, losses were capped by companies including Reckitt Benckiser, which rose 5 percent after saying that it was in advanced talks to buy baby formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition in a $16.7 billion deal. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Louise Ireland)