15 de diciembre de 2014 / 13:02 / en 3 años

European shares halt sell-off; CGG sinks 33 pct

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct after losing 5.9 pct last week

* CGG tumbles as Technip walks away

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Dec 15 (Reuters) - European stocks inched up on Monday after their biggest weekly sell-off since 2011, while worries about global growth weighed on resource-related shares such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

Shares in seismic oil and gas services group CGG sank 33 percent as rival Technip abandoned a takeover bid after talks with CGG collapsed.

At 1236 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,324.26 points, after tumbling 5.9 percent last week.

“Following last week’s slide, the best we can hope for is a ‘Santa Claus retracement’ instead of the traditional rally,” FXCM analyst Vincent Ganne said.

Mining shares were under renewed pressure, with Rio down 0.4 percent and BHP down 0.3 percent, on concern over a glut of iron ore and worries over global demand, especially from China, the world’s top metal consumer.

China’s central bank said in research report seen by Reuters on Sunday that the country’s economic growth may slow to 7.1 percent in 2015 from an expected 7.4 percent this year, held back by a sagging property sector.

Barclays France director Franklin Pichard said it was too early to buy into the dip, citing swings in oil prices, this week’s Federal Reserve meeting and the upcoming Greek presidential vote.

“The visibility on the market in the short term is too low and the volatility is too high. We’re still bullish on the medium term, but at this point we’re waiting for some kind of stabilisation.”

Energy stocks regained some ground in what traders saw as a technical bounce after falling nearly 20 percent in three weeks. Royal Dutch Shell was up 0.7 percent and Total up 1.7 percent.

However, Brent crude prices remained volatile, hitting a five-year low near $60 a barrel after OPEC restated it would not cut output despite a global fuel glut. Prices later rallied to above $62.

Most fund managers and analysts think lower oil prices will boost the European economy in the medium term and help lower input costs for sectors like industrials, chemicals and airlines. However, the speed at which prices have fallen has sparked fears the drop may reflect a slowdown in global growth.

Around Europe, UK’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.4 percent, Germany’s DAX index up 0.5 percent, and France’s CAC 40 up 0.6 percent.

Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v

Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v

Today’s European research round-up

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