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European shares dip in choppy trade after Greek debt talks break down
February 17, 2015 / 3:12 PM / 3 years ago

European shares dip in choppy trade after Greek debt talks break down

* FTSEurofirst falls 0.3 pct
    * Greek shares volatile; traders upbeat on chances of a deal
    * Telecoms hindered by Orange
    * Danish jewellery maker Pandora surges after earnings beat

 (Adds quote, detail)
    By Alistair Smout
    LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Greek stocks fell on Tuesday,
weighing on broader European indexes, after debt talks between
Athens and its euro zone peers broke down, putting the country's
future in the shared-currency bloc at risk.
    The main Athens index fell as much as 4.7 percent
after the open. It then recovered the lost ground only to drop
once more, leaving it 2 percent down by 1451 GMT. 
    After the market close on Monday, Greece rejected a proposal
for a six-month extension of its international bailout package
as "unacceptable", setting it at odds with its creditors.
    However, Greece said it was "cautiously optimistic" a deal
would be found, and traders said that the market was pricing in
the prospect of a last minute deal. 
    "The costs of a Greek exit are so great for Greece, they
will eventually strike a deal. Yesterday's meeting should not
bee seen as a failure but more part of a necessary process" 
James Butterfill, global equity strategist at Coutts, said.
    "While... the impact on euro zone economic growth of Greece
leaving would be minimal, the concern is that a Greek exit could
undermine confidence in the whole euro project."
    Greek banks dropped 9.3 percent early in the
session, but recovered slightly and were down 5.1 percent at
1450 GMT. 
    In all, the Euro STOXX 50 was down 0.5 percent,
while the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down
0.3 percent at 1,497.61 points.
    Shares were also hindered by some disappointing earnings
    Telecom Orange, which hit a four-year high on
Monday, fell 2.6 percent after predicting operating profit would
fall slightly this year amid continued tough competition in its
key home market of France. 
    Dutch logistics company TNT Express warned on
Tuesday that it expected adverse trading conditions to continue
in its main western European markets this year after reporting a
fourth-quarter net loss, sending its shares down more than 10
    Among top risers, Danish jewellery maker and retailer
Pandora surged 16.6 percent after it reported
fourth-quarter operating profit above expectations and said its
profit margin will rise in 2015. 
    In all, of the 35 percent of STOXX Europe companies to have
reported earnings so far, 58 percent have beaten or met
    Europe bourses in 2015:
    Asset performance in 2015:
    Today's European research round-up 

 (Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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