European shares fall in choppy trading, lenders slip

jueves 7 de abril de 2016 11:00 GYT

* FTSEurofirst index falls 0.7 percent

* Banks feature among top decliners

* Healthcare stocks top gainers for a second day

* Daimler, Skanska, Pearson go ex-dividend (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) (Adds details)

By Danilo Masoni and Atul Prakash

MILAN/LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) - European equities fell on Thursday, as gains in healthcare shares were eclipsed by weaker banks and a fall in stocks like Skanska that traded without the attraction of their latest dividend payouts.

European banks fell 2 percent amid talk of more layoffs and cutbacks planned by Europe's major lenders as they struggle with zero rates. European Central Bank's willingness to ease monetary policy further, according to three top officials including its president, also soured sentiment.

German carmaker Daimler fell 4.8 percent as its shares went ex-dividend. Among other companies losing the right to the next payout were Skanska, which fell 8 percent, making the stock the biggest faller on the FTSEurofirst, and Pearson, which slipped 5.2 percent.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.7 percent by 1414 GMT, with investors reluctant to place strong bets. It was on track for its fourth straight week of losses.   Continuación...