Europe shares regain ground as Ukraine tensions ease
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 2.7 pct
* Blue-chips with big Russia exposure bounce back
* Speculation about further ECB action boosts banks
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, March 4 (Reuters) - European stocks surged on Tuesday, reversing a big portion of the previous session's sharp losses after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would only use force in neighbouring Ukraine as a last resort.
Putin's first comments on the crisis sought to ease East-West tension and fears of war in the former Soviet republic and helped fuel a rebound in equities worldwide. Putin had earlier ordered an end to large-scale military exercises near Russia's border with Ukraine, which gave markets an initial boost.
"If we can avoid military escalation and big repercussions on things like gas transport, then I think that markets will quickly start focussing on other topics again such as Chinese and U.S. growth," said Johannes Müller, chief investment officer for Germany at Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, which has 931 billion euros ($1.28 trillion) of assets under management.
"When looking at fundamentals for 2014, with economic growth picking up, equities should outperform bonds this year. But every time we will have noise such as the tensions in Ukraine right now, or a weak reading of manufacturing data, we're going to see a heavy reaction on the market." Continuación...