UPDATE 2-Europe's STOXX 600 slips, but marks seventh week of gains

Reuters

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      Sanofi slips amid Horizon deal talks 
    

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      STOXX 600 gains 0.6% this week 
    

  
 (Updates to close)
    By Susan Mathew and Devik Jain
       Dec 2 (Reuters) - European shares fell back on Friday
after two days of strong gains that helped the STOXX 600 index
notch up its seventh straight week of rises amid signs of China
re-opening its economy and easing worries about interest-rate
hikes.
    The pan-European index  .STOXX  closed 0.2% lower after
rallying 1.5% in the last two sessions. The index gained 0.6%
over the week, and registered its longest weekly winning streak
since April 2021.
    Energy  .SXEP  and technology  .SX8P  stocks were among the
biggest drags on the broader index, offsetting gains in real
estate  .SX86P  and retailers  .SXRP .
    "There appears to be some profit-taking after sessions
characterised mostly by risk-on appetite. Optimism towards the
economic reopening in China has helped drive gains," Victoria
Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said.
    Chinese officials this week softened their stance on strict
COVID curbs that have hit global growth amid protests in the
country.  MKTS/GLOB 
    Rate-sensitive technology stocks also took a hit as euro
zone government bond yields rose in line with a move in U.S.
Treasury yields after data showed U.S. employers hired more
workers than expected in November and increased wages despite
mounting worries of a recession.
        "Strong job creation and a big increase in wages
underscore the Federal Reserve's argument that a lot more work
needs to be done to get inflation under control," James
Knightley, chief international economist at ING, said in a note.
  
        "It has certainly jolted the market. But with
recessionary fears lingering, market participants will remain
sceptical over how long the strong performance can last."
  
    Data this week from Europe showing cooling inflation and
falling German retail sales and exports have also made the case
for the European Central Bank to opt for a smaller hike.
    However, ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos said on Friday
the central bank needs to focus on bringing inflation down to
its 2% mid-term goal and therefore keep raising interest rates
despite a recent deceleration in the pace of price rises.
    Among individual stocks, French drugmaker Sanofi  SASY.PA 
fell 1.9% after saying that if it bid for biotech company
Horizon Therapeutics Plc  HZNP.O , it would do so in cash.
    Horizon, with a market capitalization of about $18 billion,
is also in talks with Amgen Inc  AMGN.O  and Johnson & Johnson
 JNJ.N  unit Janssen Global Services over potential takeover
offers.
        Credit Suisse  CSGN.S  jumped 9.3% after 12 straight
days of losses that sent the stock to a record low. The Swiss
lender is looking to speed up cost cutting as the revenue
outlook worsens.
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb
Chakrabarty, Savio D'Souza and Andrew Heavens)
 ((susan.mathew@thomsonreuters.com;))

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