European shares retreat; Greek banks up

* FTSEurofirst 300 falls 0.2 pct after six-month highs

* Greek bank shares jump, but Irish banks slip

* Telecom shares among top decliners

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, Nov 8 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares edged lower on
Monday as investors cashed in on six-month high prices in the
previous session, although Greek banks lead financials higher
after the country ruled out a snap election.

The Athens bourse’s banking index (.FTATBNK: ) jumped 3.4
percent, led by ATEbank (AGBr.AT: ) and Alpha Bank (ACBr.AT: ) which
jumped 3.6 and 4.4 percent respectively. Other European banks
were also higher, with HSBC (HSBA.L: ), Lloyds (LLOY.L: ) and Credit
Suisse (CSGN.VX: ) up 0.6 to 1.2 percent.

But Germany’s second-biggest lender Commerzbank (CBKG.DE: )
fell 4 percent after missing forecasts for third-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.)
as losses on commercial mortgages and the costs of integrating
Dresdner Bank offset strong corporate lending. [ID:nLDE6A60GB]

At 0944 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
European shares was down 0.2 percent at 1,109.23 points after
closing at its highest since mid-April on Friday. The index is
up 6 percent so far this year.

“Some degree of profit-taking doesn’t come as a surprise
after a gain of about 15 percent since late August. The market
might lack a little bit of direction for the first day or two of
the week,” said Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“We have certainly seen a slight uptick in sentiment, but we
are still likely to remain very data-sensitive. The third
quarter results season has broadly been favourable.

Sentiment turned positive as the outlook for the U.S.
economy brightened following the Fed’s announcement last week to
buy more debt and after encouraging U.S. jobs data on Friday.

Figures also showed German exports grew twice as fast as
expected in September, widening the trade surplus in a fresh
sign the recovery in Europe’s largest economy is holding up
well. [ID:nLDE6A707Z]

Across Europe, the FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ), Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI: )
and France’s CAC 40 (.FCHI: ) fell 0.2 to 0.3 percent. The Thomson
Reuters Peripheral Eurozone Countries Index (.TRXFLDPIPU: ) was
down 1.5 percent.

IRISH BANKS DOWN

Bank of Ireland (BKIR.I: ) fell 4.7 percent as Ireland’s main
opposition party said on Sunday it will not back next month’s
budget, further limiting the shaky coalition’s chances of
getting harsh austerity cuts past a slim parliamentary majority.
Allied Irish Banks (ALBK.I: ) fell 2.5 percent.

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click on: [ID:nLDE68T0MG]

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Telecom shares also suffered, with Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI: )
falling 1.1 percent after Credit Suisse cut the company to
“neutral” from “outperform”. Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE: ) fell
0.7 percent, while BT Group (BT.L: ) was down 0.9 percent.

Technical indicators indicated a sell-off, with the relative
strength index (RSI) for the FTSE 100 currently at 65 and the
DAX’s RSI at 71. Seventy and above is considered “overbought”.
Both indexes hit two-year highs last week.

Rolls-Royce (RR.L: ) fell 2.2 percent, extending a 9.7-percent
drop in the previous two sessions, after Qantas Airways (QAN.AX: )
grounded its A380 fleet for at least another three days as it
investigates oil leaks on Rolls-Royce engines.

“The fact is Rolls has had four engine failures in two and a
half months and the negative newsflow doesn’t look like stopping
just yet. The stock is under continued pressure and this might
well continue as Rolls will be liable to Qantas and Singapore
for operational losses,” said Jason Adams, analyst at Nomura.
(Additional reporting by Rhys Jones and Dominic Lau; Editing by
Louise Heavens)

European shares retreat; Greek banks up