European shares edge lower as bank stocks fall; oils off highs
* FTSEurofirst 300 edges lower after 2 positive sessions
* Shares of oil companies come off highs after oil deal
* Banks under pressure as JP Morgan suggest not to buy
By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, Feb 16 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Tuesday, with banking stocks again under pressure after a short rebound, while oil companies came off earlier highs on disappointment over a deal to tackle a global supply glut.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.3 percent, reversing initial gains and following a 6 percent rise made over the last two sessions. Euro zone's blue-chip index Eurostoxx 50 index fell 0.25 percent.
Top oil exporters Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed on Tuesday to freeze output levels. But they said the deal was contingent on other producers joining in - a major sticking point with Iran absent from the talks and determined to raise production.
"This agreement needs the nod from other OPEC and non OPEC nations, which seems unlikely," said Stephane Ekolo, Chief European Strategist at Market Securities. "Therefore market participants turned again cautious and risk-off sentiment is back on again," he added.
The decision comes after more than 18 months of declining oil prices that has knocked two-thirds off benchmark crude futures. Those prices had fallen on concerns about oversupply and a slowing global economy. Continuación...