European shares steady as firmer banks offset weaker telecoms

lunes 1 de febrero de 2016 05:17 GYT

* Bankia rises after reporting higher profits

* Italian bank stocks also gain on prospect of M&A

* Nokia, Alcatel fall after Samsung settlement

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - European stock markets were steady on Monday, as a rise in the shares of major banks such as Bankia offset a fall in the telecoms sector after Nokia settled a dispute with Samsung.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, whose 6 percent fall in January was its worst monthly drop at the start of a year since 2008, rose 0.1 percent, although Germany's DAX and the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 both fell 0.3 percent.

Bankia climbed 7.1 percent after the state-controlled Spanish bank reported higher profits.

Shares in Banco Popolare and other Italian banks also rose after the lender said it expected to agree a merger with Banca Popolare di Milano within a month, signalling the start of a long-awaited consolidation of Italy's fragmented banking sector.

Shares in Nokia and Alcatel -- which Nokia is in the process of acquiring -- slumped around 10 percent, however, after traders expressed disappointment with the terms of Nokia's settlement of a patent dispute with Samsung.   Continuación...