European shares steady as utilities' bounce offset by weak miners

  • Reuters
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European shares steady as utilities' bounce offset by weak miners

(Adds details, updates prices)

* STOXX up 0.1 percent as bond sell-off abates

* Utilities, real estate stocks bounce back

* But fall in miners, weak banks weigh on index

* Nokia under pressure after unambitious guidance

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, Nov 15 (Reuters) - European shares steadied on Tuesday as a rebound in utilities and crude prices was offset by sharp falls among mining stocks, while telecoms equipment maker Nokia NOKIA.HE slumped after a disappointing earnings outlook update.

The STOXX 600 .STOXX index rose 0.1 percent, with mining .SXDP shares, among the best performers this year, dropping for a second session on the back of falling metal prices.

Hopes of huge fiscal stimulus in the U.S. under Donald Trump's administration have fueled a rally in bond yields and rate hike expectations, prompting investors to favour financials over dividend-paying sectors such as utilities or real estate.

But the bond sell-off abated, taking some pressure off the utilities .SX6P and real estate .SX86P sectors, which were among the best performers in Europe with gains of 1 and 1.5 percent respectively.

German utility RWE RWEG.DE rose 2.5 percent, supported by an upgrade to hold at Kepler, while German property firm Deutsche Wohnen DWNG.DE also rebounded after lifting its guidance. Italian gas grid operator Snam SRG.MI was up 1.6 percent after broadly in-line results.

Rising yields have made dividend paying sectors relatively less attractive, but financial companies have benefited because that eases pressure on their margins. The pause in the bond sell-off prompted profit taking among financial stocks, with the bank sector index .SX7P down 0.7 percent.

Monte dei Paschi BMPS.MI fell 11 percent after the ailing Italian lender announced the terms of a debt-to-equity swap, a key plank of a plan to avoid the bank being wound down.

But shares in British asset manager Intermediate Capital Group ICP.L rose 8.5 percent, the top STOXX 600 gainer, after saying that its first half assets rose 2 percent. was the biggest faller on the STOXX with a drop of 5.7 percent. The company expects its sales to fall around 2 percent next year, in line with the broader telecoms network businesses in which it operates, but forecasts the market and its own business will return to modest growth in 2018. Morgan said 2017 margin guidance was below consensus but noted how Nokia traditionally issues an unambitious guidance.

British American Tobacco BATS.L was up 0.4 percent after sources said U.S. rival Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI ) RAI.N is seeking a higher price from the British cigarette maker after rejecting its $47 billion takeover offer. oil and gas index .SXEP rose 2.2 percent as oil prices rallied, bouncing back from multi-month lows on optimism that OPEC will agree later this month to cut production to reduce a supply glut.

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