European shares down, health care sector weighs

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European shares fell on Thursday in early deals, weighed down by a drop among healthcare stocks after US President-Elect Donald Trump targeted pharmaceuticals’ drug pricing in a press conference.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.5 per cent, and Europe’s healthcare sector index dropped 1.6 per cent, the biggest sectoral faller.

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Donald Trump on Wednesday commented on the need for competitive drug pricing, saying pharmaceutical companies were “getting away murder” by charging high drug prices.

Swiss luxury goods group Richemont was the top European gainer, jumping 8 per cent after its trading update indicated a pick-up in demand for watches and jewellery. Shares in peer Swatch Group also rose 5.4 per cent.