* FTSEurofirst 300 and Euro STOXX 50 dip lower
* Volkswagen shares rise, following rebound on Wednesday
* Bounce back in VW lifts other European carmaker stocks
* Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
* Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - European stock markets fell on Thursday, bruised by drops in Asian and U.S. markets, although a rebound in Volkswagen lifted the shares of VW and rival carmakers.
Asian shares were weaker on Thursday after more dour economic data in China and the United States piled pressure on equities.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down by 0.3 percent in early session trading, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.1 percent.
“The markets have been very volatile of late, but the general trend is still down. The China slowdown is not helping,” said Berkeley Futures associate director Richard Griffiths.
However, Volkswagen shares - which had closed up 5.2 percent on Wednesday - advanced 5.7 percent following the resignation of Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn after VW’s admission that it deceived U.S. regulators about how much its diesel cars pollute.
The rise in VW’s stock price lifted the shares of rival European carmakers, although VW shares remain down by nearly 30 percent since its U.S. regulatory problems over the pollution issue first emerged last weekend.
Nevertheless, some traders said the fact that VW’s CEO had left was a sign the company was taking steps to tackle the problem.
“They’ve kicked out the CEO. The company and its shares should be able to stabilise,” said Clairinvest fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu.
Valahu said VW shares were too volatile to trade at present, and he had instead bought shares in Porsche.
Porsche has a stake in VW, so Valahu said he could capture any recovery in VW via the Porsche holding while not having the same exposure to any further problems with VW as would be the case if he held VW shares outright.
Today’s European research round-up (editing by Ralph Boulton)