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

martes 17 de febrero de 2015 13:35 GYT

* FTSEurofirst falls 0.2 pct
    * Greek shares volatile; traders upbeat on chances of a deal
    * Danish jewellery maker Pandora surges after earnings beat
    * Telecoms hindered by Orange

 (Updates with closing prices)
    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, to close 2.45 percent down on the day. 
    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 be
seen as a failure, but more part of a necessary process," said
James Butterfill, global equity strategist at Coutts.
    "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, recovering only slightly to close down 6.4 percent. 
    Euro zone banks recovered from an early fall to end
0.3 percent higher, with traders saying that contagion from the
Greek banking sector to other European financials would be
    The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index finished up
0.2 percent at 1,504.86 points, with the Euro STOXX 50
 also up 0.2 percent.
    Top riser was Danish jewellery maker and retailer Pandora
, which rose 16.9 percent after it reported a
fourth-quarter operating profit above expectations and said its
profit margin would rise in 2015. 
    French telecom firm Orange, which hit a four-year
high on Monday, fell 1.7 percent after predicting operating
profit would fall slightly in 2015 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 9.8 percent.
    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 and Crispian Balmer)