European shares weighed down by disappointing earnings; Bayer falls
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* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.4 percent
* Bayer, BASF slip on reported interest for Monsanto
* Aegon, Generali slump as profits disappoint
* But KBC, Zurich rise after well-received results
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN, May 12 (Reuters) - European stocks inched lower in choppy trade on Thursday, weighed down by some disappointing earning updates, while Bayer and BASF dropped on reports they could be interested in buying Monsanto.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.4 percent by 1451 GMT, having risen by as much as 0.9 percent earlier in the session on the back of gains in crude oil prices, which later turned lower.
Bayer fell 5 percent after Bloomberg reported the German group was exploring a bid for Monsanto, while BASF fell 2.3 percent after financial news website Street Insider reported it was also looking at a Monsanto acquisition. Continuación...