* European markets hit by Scotland independence concerns
* Euro STOXX 50 falls 0.2 pct, CAC down 0.3 pct
* But Germany’s DAX rises 0.1 pct, helped by trade data
* Many traders remain cautious over near term
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Germany’s DAX was the only major European stock market to rise on Monday, as uncertainty over a Ukraine ceasefire and Scotland’s independence vote kept investors off balance.
The DAX closed up 0.1 percent higher at 9,758.03 points - still some 3 percent below a record high of 10,050.98 points reached in late June.
The German index outperformed a 0.2 percent fall on the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index and a 0.3 percent retreat on France’s CAC. The UK’s FTSE 100 shed 0.3 percent on uncertainty over the Scottish vote.
Traders said the German stock market was propped up by data on Monday that showed a record trade surplus of 22.2 billion euros ($28.72 billion) in July. The data suggested Europe’s largest economy could rebound in the third quarter after unexpectedly shrinking in the second.
JNF Capital investment manager Ed Smyth said the DAX could return to record levels of more than 10,000 points in the next two months.
Others were more cautious. They noted the conflict in Ukraine, where Kiev forces are confronting pro-Russian separatists, and the possible impact of EU sanctions against Russia on German companies.
“I am ‘short’ on the DAX, and I‘m looking for a pullback,” said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investment Management.
A YouGov survey for the Sunday Times newspaper put supporters of Scottish independence ahead of its opponents for the first time this year. The 51 percent favouring independence against the 49 percent against overturned a 22-point lead for the unionist campaign in just a month.
Shares in Scottish-based financial stocks were among the worst performers in Europe. The Scottish vote is on Sept. 18.
Analysts and economists have questioned whether an independent Scotland will be able to host large financial institutions. Banking industry sources told Reuters last week that Lloyds is considering moving its registered offices to London if Scots vote for independence.
“I think the euro zone stock markets will fall a bit if Scotland votes ‘Yes’ for independence, mainly because of the uncertainty that this will create,” said Rupert Baker, a European equity sales executive at Mirabaud Securities.
Michel Juvet, chief investment officer at Swiss bank Bordier, said investors feared a Scottish vote for independence could reignite separatist movements elsewhere in Europe, such as the Catalan movement seeking to break away from Spain.
“The consequences in Europe could be bad,” said Juvet.
However, Goldman Sachs’ equity strategists kept a positive overview on European stocks, which rallied last week after a surprise interest rate cut and other major measures by the European Central Bank to support the euro zone economy.
The Goldman strategists saw further gains in European stocks in the coming months and raised their rating on equities to ‘overweight’ from ‘neutral’ on a 3-month basis.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
1 US dollar = 0.7730 euro additional reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Ruth Pitchford, Sonya Hepinstall, Larry King