Europe stocks dip; new earthquake in Japan weighs

* FTSEurofirst 300 dips 0.4 pct, hits support at 50-day m.a.

* Barclays, RBS rally on relief following ICB report

* Construction stocks hit by Hochtief’s profit warning

* Strong quake in Japan rattles investors

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click on [STXNEWS/EU]

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, April 11 (Reuters) – European stocks dipped early on
Monday as renewed worries that high commodity prices will bite
into companies’ results prompted investors to book recent gains
following a brisk 3-week rally.

A new earthquake of magnitude 7.1 in northeast Japan also
rattled investors, while a one-meter tsunami advisory was issued
for the coast.

The losses were limited, however, as a main index hits
strong support on its 50-day moving average while heavyweight
mining shares such as Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and BHP Billiton (BLT.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
rallied along with metal prices.

At 0828 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: Quote, Profile, Research) index of top
European shares was down 0.4 percent at 1,143.43 points, with
strong support around the index’s 50-day moving average, at
1,144.87 points.

“Investors seem too complacent at the moment, ahead of the
earnings season. I’m cautious on the short term for stocks, with
concerns over cyclical sectors,” said Frederic Buzare, global
head of equity management at Dexia Asset Management, which
manages about 86 billion euros ($124 billion).

“Cyclicals are not really attractive in terms of valuation
while the earnings momentum has started to turn, with rising
pressures on margins, and that hasn’t been priced in analysts’
forecasts yet. Companies are facing rising input costs, and it
will start to hurt while sales volumes are not big enough to
absorb the shock.”

Bucking the trend, mining shares rose along with metal
prices, with Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote, Profile, Research) up 0.7 percent and BHP Billiton
(BLT.L: Quote, Profile, Research) up 1.7 percent.

UK lenders Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and Royal Bank of Scotland
(RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) also gained ground, up 3.1 percent and 2.4 percent
respectively, on relief following the release of Britain’s
Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) report which seem to
spare the two lenders.

“They’ve got away with it, apart from Lloyds which might
have to sell off more assets,” said John Smith, senior fund
manager at Brown Shipley. “It could have been harsher and
there’s relief that it’s been in line with expectations.”

Around Europe, UK’s FTSE 100 index (.FTSE: Quote, Profile, Research) was down 0.2
percent, while Germany’s DAX index (.GDAXI: Quote, Profile, Research) was down 0.7
percent, and France’s CAC 40 (.FCHI: Quote, Profile, Research) down 0.7 percent.

German construction group Hochtief (HOTG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) dropped 9
percent after slashing its outlook on an expected big loss at
its Australian Leighton (LEI.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) unit. Lafarge (LAFP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), Holcim
(HOLN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) and Vinci (SGEF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) fell 1.1-1.4 percent.

Investors awaited results from U.S. bellwether Alcoa (AA.N: Quote, Profile, Research),
set to kick off the earnings season after the closing bell on
Wall Street on Monday.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Additional reporting by Sudip
Kar-Gupta in London; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

Europe stocks dip; new earthquake in Japan weighs