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* STOXX Europe 600 index little changed
* Miners among top decliners
* Italian banks rebound after recent drops
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Nov 29 European shares steadied on
Tuesday after finishing lower in the previous session, with
banks stronger but miners down on a fall in industrial metals
The European basic resources index was down 1.2
percent, the top sectoral decliner, as prices of major
industrial metals fell by 1 to 2.2 percent after recent strong
gains. The oil and gas index also fell and was last
quoted 0.8 percent lower.
Shares in Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, Rio
Tinto and Anglo American fell by 1.7 to 3.4
percent following a 1.2 to 2.1 percent drop in prices of copper
, aluminium and nickel.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.02
percent as of 1022 GMT. It closed 0.8 percent lower in the
previous session, weighed down by a drop in banks led by Italian
lenders on worries over a cash call at Monte dei Paschi.
However, the Italian banking index rose 2.7
percent after ending nearly 4 percent down in the previous
Even after today's recovery, the index is still down around
15 percent from its levels two weeks ago as Italy prepares for a
referendum on constitutional reforms on Dec. 4.
"Looking at today's moves, it seems that some investors are
considering the recent sell-off in Italian banks as overdone. It
could be some last minute portfolio adjustments ahead of the
referendum," Peter Dixon, economist at Commerzbank, said.
"It's important to analyse the recent trend than just
looking at today's moves. All those uncertainties related to the
Italian referendum still exist. We will take a very cautious
view on the country's banking sector."
The chief executive of the Italian stock exchange said that
big international investors were holding huge short positions on
Italian assets. Opinion polls conducted until a blackout period
began last week showed the "no" vote for the referendum
comfortably in the lead, raising concerns of a political crisis
and fuelling market volatility. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has
said he would resign if Italians reject the reforms.
Elsewhere, Swiss biotech firm Actelion fell 4.6
percent, the top decliner in the STOXX 600 index, on a report
saying the company was not actively considering selling itself,
but instead weighing a "complicated deal" to link with Johnson &
TalkTalk rose 4.2 percent, rebounding off 4-year
lows, after Britain's telecoms regulator said it will go to the
European Commission to try to force BT to legally
separate from Openreach, the network that delivers broadband to
millions of homes and businesses.
Openreach is the division of BT Group that develops and
maintains the UK's main telecoms network used by telecom
providers such as Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and
BT's retail business.
(Editing by Jason Neely)