* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.8 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 1.3 pct
* DAX underperforms again on worries over Ukraine
* Deutsche Bank hurt by report of capital hike
(Updates closing prices with no other changes to text)
By Alistair Smout and Blaise Robinson
LONDON/PARIS, April 25 (Reuters) - German stocks led
European shares lower on Friday as new signs of violence in
Ukraine hit sentiment, although equities remained underpinned by
corporate takeover activity.
Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on
Thursday, prompting Russia to launch army drills near the
border. In response, the United States said on Friday it will
press European allies to impose more sanctions if Russia steps
up action in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk accused Russia of
wanting to start World War Three by occupying Ukraine
"militarily and politically", in some of the strongest language
he has used.
"At the moment this is mainly noise, but there is a risk
that the Ukrainian situation could deteriorate. We've seen how
vulnerable the DAX has been to tough rhetoric, for example,"
said Mike Harris, a partner at stockbroker TJM Partners.
Germany's DAX index, seen as the European market
most exposed to the crisis in Ukraine, closed down 1.5 percent,
at 9,401.55 points.
The DAX, which has outperformed other European stock indexes
for years, is down 1.6 percent so far in 2014, trailing France's
CAC 40, up 3.4 percent in 2014, Milan's FTSE MIB, up 13
percent and Madrid's IBEX, up 3.9 percent.
"I'm a seller here. The DAX has got the legs to come off
down to 9,250 points," said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of
trading at Central Markets Investment Management.
Deutsche Bank was among the biggest blue-chip
losers, down 2 percent on a report that it may raise as much as
5 billion euros ($6.91 billion) in capital this year to cope
with European stress tests and new capital rules.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which hit
a near six-year high earlier this month, was down 0.8 percent at
1,332.83 points at the close.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index
shed 1.3 percent, to 3,147.40 points.
Bucking the trend, Bouygues was the top
FTSEurofirst 300 riser, up 4.2 percent after Reuters reported
that U.S. industrial products giant General Electric is
in talks to buy the global power turbines division of struggling
French engineering group Alstom.
Bouygues has a 29 percent share in Alstom, and said it was
backing the deal. Shares in Alstom were suspended from trading
by a regulator, pending a statement by the company.
Europe bourses in 2014: http://link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: http://link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in London; Editing by