European shares fall; Ryanair bucks market

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Paris - European stocks slipped on Monday morning, resuming their sell-off of the past 10 days, hurt by brewing worries over emerging markets and data showing China's economy losing momentum.

Shares in low-cost airline Ryanair bucked the trend, up 4.8 percent after the company said intense price competition in Europe was easing and forward bookings were up.

Investors overlooked an upbeat German manufacturing survey - showing the sector's fastest growth in more than two years in January - and fretted instead about figures showing a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing.

That raised concerns about the potential impact on the global economy and on turbulent emerging markets.

At 11:23 SA time, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.5 percent at 1,285.83 points.

The benchmark index has lost 5.1 percent since a high hit on January 21.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.6 percent at 2,994.11 points.

“It's not yet time to buy this dip,” said David Thebault, head of quantitative sales trading at Global Equities.

“The crisis in emerging markets has taken most people by surprise and Western investors are repatriating funds. This move could take a while and bring even more volatility.”

Financial assets in a number of emerging economies have recently been rocked by the prospect of reduced stimulus from the US Federal Reserve.

The Fed announced last Wednesday a second cut in its quantitative easing programme, which had fuelled a sharp rally in global equities in 2013.

Reduced US stimulus has prompted investors to repatriate investments from emerging markets, which have suffered massive outflows and sent a number of local currencies plunging.

European companies have a much bigger exposure to emerging markets than US or Japanese companies, according to data from MSCI.

Emerging markets represent about 24 percent of revenues overall for firms listed on the MSCI Europe index, versus 15 percent for the MSCI United States index and 14 percent for the MSCI Japan index .

Despite the market's recent pull-back, data shows European stocks continue to enjoy brisk investment inflows, in sharp contrast with massive outflows rocking emerging market funds.

The latest data from fund-tracking EPFR Global showed that, while emerging markets equity funds posted their biggest outflow since the third quarter of 2011 in the week ended January 29, investors continued to pour money into Europe equity funds.

“The cut in the Fed's liquidity injections has sparked a violent wave of outflows from emerging markets, and the money has gone partly into European stocks,” Barclays France portfolio manager Philippe Cohen said. - Reuters


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