Siemens and RWE help European shares steady
LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - European shares were buoyed by gains in major German stocks Siemens and RWE on Monday, steadying after heavy losses in the previous week on concerns about geopolitical tensions in Ukraine.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which fell 3.2 percent last week, rose 0.2 percent to 1,286.72 points in early session trading, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also gained 0.3 percent to 3,013.97 points.
Siemens rose after JPMorgan upgraded its rating on the stock to "overweight" from "neutral", while RWE advanced as traders welcomed a deal to sell its oil and gas production arm DEA to investors led by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman for 5.1 billion euros ($7.10 billion).
Traders took a vote in Crimea at the weekend in favour of annexing the region from Ukraine - a move Western powers have said is illegal and will lead to sanctions against Russia - in their stride, with some arguing that they did not expect any immediate escalation in the tensions.
"People are not panicking. Much of the Crimea news had been priced in last week and the market is now just calming itself down," said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investment Management. ($1 = 0.7181 Euros)
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