Weak data weighs on European shares while Raiffeisen drives bank stocks up


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LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) – European shares fell back on Tuesday after weak data from China and Germany added to a spate of less encouraging news on the global economy but the banking sector offered a ray of light after strong results from Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank.

The pan-European index fell back 0.1 percent while Germany’s DAX declined 0.2 percent after Europe’s biggest economy reported first-quarter growth slightly slower than expected.

An 81 percent increase in first-quarter net profit sent Raiffeisen shares up, while Commerzbank led the DAX after reporting quarterly pre-tax profit ahead of analysts’ expectations.

Credit Agricole added to the optimism around banking stocks. The French bank’s shares had fallen at the open but recovered to trade up 1.3 percent after quarterly profit fell short of expectations.

Dealmaking, which has been ubiquitous in European markets this year, continued apace with Worldline agreeing to buy the payments arm of Swiss stock exchange operator SIX for $2.75 billion.

Shares in the French payments company jumped 4.8 percent, while Atos, which has a majority stake in Worldline, rose 1.3 percent.

Shares in Switzerland’s Temenos jumped 4.5 percent. The banking software firm was boosted by dealmaking in the sector and by its addition to MSCI’s Switzerland index, traders said.

Meanwhile Iliad shares sank 16 percent to the bottom of the STOXX after a management reshuffle and weak first-quarter results.

French satellite firm Eutelsat also tumbled 10.8 percent after warning it could fall short of its full-year revenue target, and Danish jewelry maker Pandora fell 8.4 percent on lower than expected profit due to a slowdown in China. (Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Julien Ponthus)


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