European shares slip as banks and miners fall

European shares slip as banks and miners fall

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 01, 2013 16:40 hrs

LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Friday, impacted by weaker bank and mining stocks, and traders expected equities to stay trapped in a tight range this month with uncertainty over Italian elections denting sentiment.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed down 0.2 percent at 1,169.21 points while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.6 percent to 2,617.45 points.

The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index, which includes mining stocks, was the worst-performing equity sector as it fell 1.8 percent on fresh signs of an economic slowdown in China, which is the world's biggest metals consumer.

The STOXX Europe 600 Banking index also retreated 1.2 percent, with British bank Lloyds falling 2.7 percent after setting aside 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) to compensate customers who were mis-sold loan insurance.

Rupert Baker, a European equity sales executive for Mirabaud Securities, expected stock markets to be rangebound in March before then resuming an upwards trajectory in April.

"March is normally rangebound before it improves for another push higher in April," he said, adding that investors were still buying shares on days when the market fell due to expectations of a gradual rally on equities over the course of 2013.

"Are we still buyers on the dip? Yes, more or less."

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