(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)
* FTSEurofirst down 0.3 percent
* Eutelsat drops around 30 percent after outlook cut
* Ubisoft rises after posting higher sales
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN, May 13 (Reuters) - European shares lost ground on Friday, with satellite company Eutelsat plunging 30 percent after slashing its outlook, while weak oil prices also weighed on the region’s stock markets.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.3 percent, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.2 percent.
European markets have sagged in recent weeks, with some investors blaming strength in the euro and uncertainty before Britain’s vote on June 23 on European Union membership - dubbed “Brexit” - and a political stalemate in Spain.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reiterated on Friday that a vote by Britain to leave the EU next month could hit the global economy and world stock markets.
“We’re quite cautious about the European market even though valuations are not expensive. Before taking big bets, investors need to know what will happen on the political front and where the euro will go,” said Matteo Ramenghi, Chief Investment Officer at UBS WM Italy.
Oil prices also retreated, weighing on the shares of BP and Total.
Eutelsat’s 30 percent fall made it the worst stock in the region. The satellite company cut its outlook for the full year late on Thursday and was met with a spate of ratings downgrades on Friday.
“Such a heavy hit to forecasts, coming from across the applications, will knock confidence in the story,” Barclays said in a note, downgrading the stock to “equal-weight” from “overweight” and slashing its target to 22 euros from 31 euros.
However, French video games maker Ubisoft rose 7.6 percent after it reported higher sales and issued a bullish outlook.
The FTSEurofirst is down around 10 percent so far in 2016.
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). In a real-time, multimedia format from 0600 London time through the 1630 closing bell, it will include the best of our market reporting, Stocks Buzz service, Eikon graphics, Reuters pictures, eye-catching research and market zeitgeist. Breaking news and dramatic market moves will continue to be alerted to all clients and we will continue to provide a short opening story and comprehensive closing reports.
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in London; editing by Richard Balmforth)