Banks give European stocks stability, autos driven lower by Fiat

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Banks give European stocks stability, autos driven lower by Fiat
Credit: © Reuters.

* STOXX 600 up 0.1 pct

* Banco BPM rise on talk of bad loans sale

* But Deutsche Bank drops after U.S. request

* Fiat falls on emission bill worries

* Dixons, Britvic rise after results (Adds details, closing prices)

By Kit Rees

LONDON, May 24 (Reuters) - European shares, stuck just below 21-month highs for more than a week, struggled to gain momentum on Wednesday, with strength in banks and big oil majors offset by weakness in miners and autos.

The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX index ended up 0.1 percent. Among the national markets, Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE rose 0.4 percent, while Germany's DAX .GDAXI fell 0.1 percent, weighed down by stocks including Hugo Boss BOSSn.DE and Evonik EVKn.DE going ex-dividend.

Banks were the biggest contributor to gains on the STOXX index with Banco BPM BAMI.MI leading the way with a surge of 4 percent, helped by market talk about the sale of bad loans.

But the sector was weighed down by a 0.9 percent fall in Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE after news that U.S. House Democrats had asked the German lender to provide information on whether any accounts connected to U.S. President Donald Trump have ties to Russia. auto stocks .SXAP were the biggest sectoral fallers, down 0.6 percent. They were led lower by a 1.6 percent fall in Daimler DIAGn.DE , which extended losses after its sites were searched on Tuesday by German prosecutors in an emissions probe, and a 0.6 percent fall in Fiat Chrysler FCHA.MI . in the Italian-American carmaker recouped some of their earlier losses after the U.S. government sued it over emissions. case is likely to take a long time (VW settled in 16 months) and should weigh on FCA's share price for some time as the message regarding the execution of its 2018 plan is likely to be overwhelmed," analysts at Barclays (LON: BARC ) said in a note.

Among mining stocks, hit by a fall in copper after Moody's downgraded China, a big global metals consumer, Rio Tinto RIO.L declined 0.5 percent while Randgold RRS.L and Fresnillo FRES.L fell 1.5 and 0.4 percent respectively.

Glencore GLEN.L lost 0.1 percent after saying it had made an informal approach to U.S. grains trader Bunge BG.N to discuss "a possible consensual business combination". But Bunge responded by saying it was not in talks with the mining and commodities group. the positive side, a well-received set of fourth-quarter results from Dixons Carphone DC.L lifted its shares 4.7 percent, while Britvic's BVIC.L first-half update also boosted its shares.

British retailer Kingfisher KGF.L was the biggest STOXX faller, however, down 7 percent after a trading update, while engineer Babcock BAB.L also fell 2.3 percent after its full-year results.

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