LONDON, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Europe’s financial stocks wilted after a delayed vote on tax reform in the U.S. deflated a rally in the sector, driving regional benchmarks to start December with a dip.
Euro zone stocks fell 0.6 percent while Britain’s FTSE, which has suffered from a strong sterling this week, slid 0.1 percent.
Financials were the biggest weight after the U.S. Senate delayed a vote on a tax reform bill that investors anticipate will be beneficial for banks.
Lloyds, Barclays, and BNP Paribas led the index down.
Oil and gas stocks stayed buoyant, with Shell, Total and BP leading sector gains as OPEC’s extension of supply cuts continued to boost crude prices.
Healthcare stocks outperformed thanks to a Morgan Stanley upgrade boosting UCB by 3.3 percent while Novo Nordisk , flagged as one of the strategists’ favourites in the pharma space, gained 2.8 percent.
British pharma company Indivior also shot up 11.7 percent after its opioid addiction drug got approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Struggling French telecom company Altice - whose shares sank 59 percent in November after disappointing results - rose 4.6 percent after the company said it would sell data centre and Swiss telecoms businesses in a bid to reduce its 50 billion euro debt pile.
Meanwhile shares in Dialog Semiconductor, hammered on Thursday by a press report Apple would in-source its power chip design, removing a crucial supplier relationship for the German firm, recovered to trade up 4 percent.
Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Georgina Prodhan