Euro zone banks fall to knock back European shares
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.3 pct
* Index fell last week to lowest level since mid-Dec 2014
* Broker upgrades lift Ericsson, LVMH and CNP
* But Casino falls on bearish S&P note (Adds quote, detail)
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Euro zone banks weighed on European stocks on Monday after news that the European Central Bank was scrutinising some non-performing loans, although oil and gas companies provided some support for the broader market.
The euro zone bank sector fell 3.8 percent, with traders citing news over the weekend that the ECB is quizzing a number of euro zone banks about non-performing loans as it ramps up efforts to tackle the region's mountain of bad debt.
Spain's Banco de Sabadell, France's Credit Agricole and Portugal's Banco Comercial Portugues slipped 5-8 percent.
Italy provided many of the sector's top fallers, with Banco Monte Paschi down 14.4 percent, and Banco Popolare , UniCredit and Mediobanca down 4.7-6.6 percent. Continuación...