Europe stock indexes on track for best first quarter in years

martes 31 de marzo de 2015 10:23 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.7 pct, up 16 pct in Q1

* DAX set to record best Q1 gain since creation in 1988

* About 665 bln euros in market value created in Q1

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, March 31 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Tuesday, taking a breather from their sharp rally of the past three months triggered by the drop in the euro, with Germany's DAX index set to record its biggest first quarter gain since its creation in 1988.

As the quarter draws to an end, the DAX is up 22 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares is up 16 percent, strongly outpacing Wall Street where the S&P 500 is up 0.8 percent since the start of the year.

Shares in the euro zone have seen the bulk of the gains, climbing 19 percent overall, a rise of about 665 billion euros ($712 billion) in market value over the past three months, data from Thomson Reuters Datastream shows.

That is more than half the size of the ECB's quantitative easing programme, launched this month.

A survey of around 50 fund managers and strategists conducted in the past week predicted the pan-European STOXX Europe 600 index would rise more than 6 percent from current levels to 425 points by the end of 2015.   Continuación...