European stocks turn lower as ECB says more rate cuts unlikely, banks up

jueves 10 de marzo de 2016 11:59 GYT

* ECB cuts rates, lifts size of asset purchase programme

* Shares off highs as Draghi says more rate cuts unlikely

* Banks rise sharply led by Banco Popular, UniCredit

* Lagardere slumps after results (Adds details, updates prices)

By Danilo Masoni and Sudip Kar-Gupta

MILAN/LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - European shares turned lower on Thursday after the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said more rate cuts were unlikely, but bank shares rose on plans for a new round of cheap funding.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.4 percent by 1541 GMT, having earlier risen by as much as 2.6 percent after the ECB surprised investors with rate cuts and an expanstion of its asset purchase programme.

Giuseppe Sersale, fund manager at Anthilia Capital, said Draghi's remarks that more rate cuts were unlikely caught investors who were heavily selling the euro by surprise, putting pressure on equities.

"However, regardless of the short term, minute by minute market market reaction, we see the stimulus package as very important ... especially the possibility given to banks to tap new long term funding at zero or negative rates," he added.   Continuación...