European shares pause after bumper week; Erste sinks on warning

viernes 4 de julio de 2014 03:35 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.2 pct

* Indexes still set for best week since March

* Erste sinks by 14 pct after profit warning

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) - European stocks paused for a breather on Friday after brisk gains since the start of July set key regional indexes on course for their biggest weekly gains in several months and close to major technical resistance levels.

Shares in Austria's Erste Group Bank sank by 14 percent after emerging Europe's third-biggest lender warned it will post a record loss this year (FY14) due to fresh hits from Hungary and Romania.

It was the top faller on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which was down 0.1 percent at 1,396.63 points at 0724 GMT. The index was still up 1.8 percent for the week, its biggest weekly gain since March and close to a 6-1/2 year highs.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index, also on track for its best weekly advance since March, was down 0.2 percent at 3,282.77 points.

Strong U.S. economic data and supportive rhetoric from the European Central Bank have fuelled a rally in European equities this week, catching some investors by surprise after a dip in June had led some to believe the rally was losing momentum.   Continuación...