European shares end steady, gain for 4th straight quarter

lunes 30 de junio de 2014 13:16 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 index closes 0.05 pct lower

* Solvay boosts European chemicals sector

* easyJet falls on rating downgrade

* Espirito Santo extends Friday's steep losses

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) - European equities steadied on Monday, as gains in chemicals companies led by the Belgian group Solvay were offset by weaker travel stocks after a ratings downgrade caused easyJet shares to slump.

Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo also slumped 16.5 percent, extending an 11.4 percent fall on Friday. Luxembourg's justice authorities began an investigation into three holding companies of the Espirito Santo banking family over alleged breaches of company law.

European chemicals shares rose 0.6 percent, boosted by Solvay. Analysts at Exane, the top-ranked broker on the stock according to StarMine, upgraded its rating to "outperform" from "neutral". Solvay shares rose 3.6 percent.

The broader market was also supported by Dutch conglomerate Philips, which rose 4.1 percent after saying it would merge its Lumileds LED components and automotive lighting divisions into a standalone subsidiary that could be spun off.   Continuación...