European shares fall back as Ukraine keeps investors on edge

martes 18 de marzo de 2014 07:32 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 dips 0.2 pct, Germany's DAX down 0.5 pct

* DAX further underperforms rest of Europe's stock indexes

* Sanctions against Russia so far seen as "soft"

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, March 18 (Reuters) - European stocks dipped on Tuesday, trimming the previous session's gains as tensions in Ukraine following the weekend referendum in Crimea kept investors on edge.

Germany's DAX index - seen as the most vulnerable to the crisis between Russia and the West over the future of Crimea - underperformed again, and was down 0.5 percent, with Siemens falling 1 percent and Henkel down 0.8 percent.

Data out on Tuesday showed German analyst and investor sentiment fell much more than expected in March, hitting its lowest level since August 2013, knocked by fears the crisis in Ukraine could weigh heavily on Europe's largest economy.

The Mannheim-based ZEW economic think-tank's monthly poll of economic sentiment dropped to 46.6 from 55.7 in February, falling short of even the lowest forecast of 49.9 in a Reuters poll of analysts. The consensus forecast was for 53.0.

The DAX is down 4.4 percent since the start of the year, the weakest showing among Europe's main stock indexes, and strongly underperforming a 10 percent rally in 2014 in Italy's FTSE MIB index, as investors have increasingly bet on the euro zone peripheral countries' economic recovery.   Continuación...