UPDATE 1-European Factors to Watch-Ukraine tension to peg back shares after rally

jueves 27 de febrero de 2014 03:30 GYT

LONDON Feb 27 (Reuters) - European equity futures edged lower on Thursday, with traders pointing to escalating political tensions in Ukraine as being likely to peg back the region's stock markets which had rallied in February to near record highs.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 futures contract and the German DAX futures contract both fell 0.2 percent by 0720 GMT, while France's CAC futures contract was flat. German bund futures opened 18 ticks higher.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered drills by his armed forces to test combat readiness in western Russia, near the border with Ukraine, prompting the United States to warn that a military intervention would be a "grave mistake."

On Thursday, Interfax news agency reported that armed men had seized the regional government headquarters and parliament on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

"There is some nervousness about the tensions in Ukraine," said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investment Management.

"If the DAX futures hold below 9,700, we could be in for further downside," he added.

The blue-chip pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.2 percent to 1,348.75 points on Wednesday, easing back after a 7 percent rise from a low hit on Feb. 4.

The FTSEurofirst 300 remains close to its highest level since May 2008, while Britain's FTSE 100 and the DAX are also within sight of record highs. The FTSEurofirst 300 is up by nearly 3 percent since the start of 2014, having risen 16 percent in 2013.   Continuación...