* Miners and oil companies lead sectoral fallers
* Credit Suisse outperforms weak banks on cost-cutting plans
* Poste Italiane and Kingfisher rise after earning updates
* William Hill slumps after profit warning (ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development. See the bottom of the report for more details. Adds details, closing prices)
By Danilo Masoni and Sudip Kar-Gupta
MILAN/LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - European shares slipped on Wednesday in thin pre-holiday trade, with miners and oil companies leading the decline on weaker commodity prices, while Credit Suisse outperformed the banking sector after saying it was cutting costs further.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.1 percent to 1,336.7 points, while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index dropped 0.3 percent.
“Investors were in holiday mood and going forward I expect markets to move on sideways and consolidate a bit, but not too much after the ECB (stimulus package),” said Marco Vailati, head of research and investment at Italy’s Cassa Lombarda.
The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources Index fell 2.1 percent, topping sectoral fallers, as metal prices declined after the dollar strengthened on hawkish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers.
A drop in crude prices helped to send the STOXX Europe 600 Energy Index down 1.6 percent.
Credit Suisse rose 0.9 percent after the Swiss bank announced 800 million Swiss francs ($820.4 million) in extra cost savings and plans to shrink its investment bank further with 2,000 more jobs cuts as it pushes ahead with a restructuring.
“It is positive that Credit Suisse is taking more action and reducing risk-weighted assets in global markets,” RBC Europe analyst Fiona Swaffield said.
Other gainers included technology group Hexagon, which rose 3.9 percent after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the stock to “overweight” from “equal weight”.
Europe’s largest home improvement retailer Kingfisher gained 5.9 percent on the back of a forecast-beating 0.3 percent rise in annual profit.
Among other standout movers, Italy’s post office operator Poste Italiane rose 3.4 percent as its dividend targets pleased investors.
The STOXX Europe 600 Travel & Leisure Index ended little changed after slumping 1.8 percent on Tuesday after the deadly attacks on Brussels.
The index was weighed down by gambling group William Hill , which fell 11 percent after warning of lower profit this year, while other travel and leisure stocks, including Accor, TUI and Ryanair, recovered by between 0.2 percent and 1.4 percent.
Some investors remained cautious about the near-term outlook, with the FTSEurofirst still down about 7 percent since the start of 2016 on concerns over a global economic slowdown.
“We are in a bear market. We pulled up a bit in February and March, but I think the most likely direction for now is down,” ACIES Asset Management hedge fund manager Andreas Clenow said.
Today’s European research round-up
ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon (see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development). In a real-time, multimedia format from 0600 London time through to the 1630 closing bell, it will include the best of our market reporting, Stocks Buzz service, Eikon graphics, Reuters pictures, eye-catching research and market zeitgeist. Breaking news and dramatic market moves will continue to be alerted to all clients and we will continue to provide a short opening story and comprehensive closing reports.
If you have any thoughts, suggestions or feedback on this, please email email@example.com. Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. ($1 = 0.9751 Swiss francs)
Editing by Louise Ireland and David Goodman