(Updates prices at settle)
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.4 pct, dips from 6-1/2 yr high
* Index posts fourth weekly gain in a row
* Russia-exposed shares outperform as ceasefire is agreed
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - European stocks dipped on Friday as traders cashed in on a brisk rally over the past month, fuelled by expectations of fresh stimulus measures by the European Central Bank.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed 0.4 percent lower at 1,396.02 points, retreating from a 6-1/2 year high hit in the previous session, when the ECB cut rates and announced a new stimulus plan.
Shares exposed to Russia outperformed, however, as representatives of Ukraine, the pro-Russian separatist leadership, Russia and the OSCE security watchdog agreed on a ceasefire.
BP, which owns 20 percent of Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, rose 2.6 percent.
Shares in tyre maker Nokian Tyres, which generates a third of its revenue in Russia, Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International, which relies heavily on Russia for profits, and Danish brewer Carlsberg, which has a large exposure to the country, rose between 1 percent and 1.9 percent.
The euro zone blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index closed 0.1 percent lower at 3,275.25 points after stepping in to “overbought” territory in the previous session, according to its Relative Strength Index, a closely watched indicator of share price momentum.
Both the Euro STOXX 50 and the FTSEurofirst 300 were up for the fourth consecutive week.
European bourses came off their morning lows after data showed U.S. employers hired the fewest number of workers in eight months in August and more Americans gave up the hunt for jobs, providing a cautious Federal Reserve with more reasons to wait longer before raising interest rates.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 142,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, less than economists had expected. However, the number of long-term unemployed Americans was the lowest since January 2009 and there was a decline in those working part-time for economic reasons.
“It’s weak enough not to start the tightening fears and strong enough not to panic about growth. The market basically shrugged it off,” Christian Gattiker, chief strategist and head of research at Julius Baer, said.
“After the decent run since early August, nobody was expecting that to boost the market.”
In the longer term, Jonathan Stubbs, equity strategist at Citi, saw further gains in European stocks thanks to the ECB’s stimulus.
“European equities are... no longer cheap in absolute terms, but still super-cheap relative to other asset classes, such as credit,” Stubbs said in a note.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson in Paris; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)