(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 for more details) Adds closing prices)
* FTSEurofirst 300 drops 1.2 percent
* Dialog Semiconductor down after outlook cut
* BHP Billiton and other mining stocks also fall
* SocGen, Moller-Maersk gain after results
* Athens outperforms as Morgan Stanley turns bullish
By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, May 4 (Reuters) - European stocks fell on Wednesday, with Dialog Semiconductor slumping after it cut its revenue outlook and BHP Billiton hit by news of a lawsuit filed against it in Brazil.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index shed 1.2 percent to 1,302.72 points, its lowest closing level in nearly four weeks. It lost 1.7 percent on Tuesday.
“We may have the odd move higher, but we remain in a longer-term bear market,” said Andreas Clenow, chief investment officer of Zurich-based ACIES Asset Management.
However, Greek stocks bucked the trend, gaining 1.1 percent after Morgan Stanley turned bullish on the country’s government debt and upgraded four banks to outperform amid hopes for a positive conclusion to its bailout review.
Dialog slumped 8.6 percent after the maker of chips used in Apple and Samsung Electronics smartphones cut its revenue outlook and reported a 58 percent drop in underlying operating profit.
DZ Bank analyst Harald Schnitzer said that, although the revision was not a surprise, “uncertainty surrounding (Dialog‘s) future performance is growing”.
Mining stocks were pressured by weak copper prices.
BHP lagged its peers, shedding 5.8 percent after federal prosecutors in Brazil filed a 155 billion real ($43.5 billion) civil lawsuit against iron miner Samarco and its owners, Vale and BHP, over the collapse of a dam last November.
One reason for the fall in metals prices has been persistent concerns about a slowdown in China, the world’s second-largest economy and the leading global consumer of metals.
“The deflationary pressures remain and it’s hard to see markets making much headway at the moment,” said Berkeley Futures associate director, Richard Griffiths.
Among bank stocks, Societe Generale rose 1.7 percent after pledging more cost cuts this year and unveiling a higher-than-expected quarterly profit.
AP Moller-Maersk rose 6.4 percent after the Danish shipping and oil group reported a first-quarter net profit above forecasts.
Today’s European research round-up
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Editing by Gareth Jones)