Portuguese bank woes weigh on European equities

jueves 7 de agosto de 2014 06:13 GYT

* Concerns over Portuguese banks hits Lisbon market

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.2 pct

* ECB expected to keep rates at record lows

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Concerns about Portugal's banking system hit the Lisbon stock market on Thursday and weighed on European equities, which were also kept in check by tensions between Western powers and Russia.

Investors were also holding off from taking big equity positions ahead of a European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting and news conference by ECB President Mario Draghi, due later in the day.

The ECB is set to hold fire on rates as it waits for earlier stimulus measures to gain traction, while keeping an eye on risks from the conflict in Ukraine, where Kiev forces are fighting pro-Russian separatists.

Lisbon's benchmark PSI-20 index was down by 0.7 percent, underperforming the broader, pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index which was down 0.2 percent at 1,320.72 points.

Traders said the Lisbon market remained impacted by worries over the state rescue of Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo , which was hit by financial problems associated with its Espirito Santo founding family.   Continuación...