* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index down 0.6 pct
* Travel and leisure stocks lead the market lower
* Partners Group bucks the trend after update
* Renault, Vivendi rise helped by broker upgrades (ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development. See the bottom of the report. Adds details, updates prices)
By Atul Prakash and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, March 22 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Tuesday, with travel and leisure stocks leading the market lower after the deadly attacks in Brussels.
At least 30 people were killed in attacks on Brussels airport and a rush-hour metro train in the Belgian capital, triggering security alerts across Western Europe.
“Geopolitical risk, including acts of terrorism which directly affect trade or movement, remains a significant risk factor to monitor,” said Lorne Baring, managing director of B Capital Wealth Management in Geneva.
“In a period where there is suboptimal growth both in Europe and globally, combined with equity valuations that are no longer cheap, there exists an environment which is susceptible to shocks that can act as a trigger for falls in asset prices.”
The STOXX Europe 600 Travel and Leisure index fell 2.1 percent, the top sectoral decliner, with shares in Ryanair , Accor, TUI and IAG all down by 2.2 to 4.7 percent.
Luxury stocks such as Ferragamo, LVMH and L‘Oreal were also down by between 1.5 percent and 3.6 percent on concerns travel tourism, a key driver for their sales, could fall in the wake of the attacks.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.6 percent at 1,332.07 points by 1537 GMT, while Belgium’s benchmark share index fell 0.3 percent.
Elsewhere in Europe, Germany’s DAX fell 0.3 percent while France’s CAC dropped 0.5 percent.
Investors remained focused on the events in Brussels, although there were some positive data releases that brought some relief for the region’s growth prospects.
German business morale rose in March as the retail sector profited from buoyant consumer sentiment, while euro zone business activity ended the quarter on a higher note.
This suggested extra stimulus from the European Central Bank may already be having a positive effect.
“The just-announced ECB stimulus, while not a game changer for growth, should neutralise some of the downside risks ... But today’s ugly events in Brussels add further uncertainty to the outlook,” said UniCredit economist Edoardo Campanella.
Partners Group shares rose 7 percent after the investment management firm proposed a higher dividend after full-year revenues rose 8 percent despite foreign exchange headwinds.
Among top gainers were car maker Renault and media group Vivendi, both helped by brokers lifting their lifting their recommendations.
Today’s European research round-up
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Editing by Alison Williams)