European shares end lower after choppy session, lenders slip

jueves 7 de abril de 2016 12:46 GYT

* FTSEurofirst index ends 0.8 pct lower

* Banks feature among top decliners

* Healthcare stocks gain for 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 Atul Prakash and Danilo Masoni

LONDON/MILAN, April 7 (Reuters) - European equities ended lower on Thursday, with financial shares losing ground and stocks like Skanska and Daimler slumping after trading without the attraction of their latest dividend payouts.

European banks fell 2.2 percent amid talk of more lay-offs 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.

Italian banks Unicredit, BMPS, Banco Popolare and UBI Banca fell 5.9 to 8.1 percent, with the country's benchmark FTSE MIB index hitting a one-month low and closing 2.5 percent lower.

"If bank stocks are a leading indicator then broader markets are in for a large pullback," said Jasper Lawler, analyst at CMC Markets.   Continuación...