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* STOXX 600 recovers slightly after Fed official comments
* Partners Group rises to record high after H1 results
* STOXX 600 still down around 6 pct in 2016
LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - European shares traded flat on Tuesday after a three-day losing streak, as dovish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve official Lael Brainard lent some support to equity markets.
Brainard said on Monday that the Fed should avoid removing support for the U.S economy too quickly, which led traders to trim bets on the likelihood of a September U.S. rate hike.
Expectations of such a rate-hike had caused the pan-European STOXX 600 index to fall in the last three sessions, but Brainard’s comments helped it recover slightly to trade flat. The STOXX 600 remains down by around 6 percent so far in 2016.
Shares in Swiss investment management company Partners Group surged 10 percent to a record high after posting higher interim profits, although British online grocer Ocado fell 12.9 percent after warning of margin pressure.
“This rebound looks weak to me, and lacking in conviction. The economic environment in Europe is still not that good,” said Terry Torrison, managing director at Monaco-based McLaren Securities.
Evidence of Europe’s weak economic backdrop, which has led the European Central Bank (ECB) to hold interest rates at record lows and keep open the option for more monetary stimulus, was provided by Italy on Tuesday, as the country’s economy minister warned Italy would cut its growth estimates.
Strategists at U.S. investment bank Citigroup said Italian stocks could be worth a buy, based on expectations that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi would emerge from a forthcoming referendum in a stronger position, provided investors chose carefully.
Among Citigroup’s favoured Italian stocks were catering company Autogrill and drinks group Campari.
Echoing that note of general caution, Berkeley Futures’ associate director Richard Griffiths said he would use any bounce up in European stock markets to sell equities for a profit, given the lingering macroeconomic concerns.
“I still think the pressure is to the downside,” he said. (Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)