February 11, 2013 / 4:35 PM / 5 years ago

European shares led lower by Novo Nordisk

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - European equities eased on Monday, continuing the previous week’s retreat from multi-month peaks and dragged down by a sharp sell off in Novo Nordisk after its key drug suffered a regulatory approval set-back.

The weakness in European equities was fairly broad with all but two sectors in the red. Energy and mining stocks were hit by falling commodity prices while continued political turbulence in Italy and Spain weighed on banks and on their national indexes.

The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed down 0.7 percent, at 1,154.03 points, continuing a correction from 2-year highs set at the end of January which analysts said could have further to run in coming sessions.

“At this juncture we are not buying further equities,” said James Butterfill, global head of equity strategy at Coutts. “Fundamentally we do like equities but at this juncture, from a technical short-term view ... we are being cautious.”

Shares in Novo Nordisk plunged 13 percent, suffering their worst fall in four years after U.S. regulators requested more tests on its key new insulin drug, potentially delaying the approval by several years and threatening the Danish firm’s long-term financial targets.

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