(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)
* Insurers gain on positive broker comments
* Mining stocks fall as metals prices lose ground
* Portuguese banks BPI and Millennium BCP also fall
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) - European stock markets were steady on Tuesday, as a rise in insurance shares offset weaker commodity-linked stocks, which fell in tandem with lower metals and oil prices.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index edged up 0.1 percent. Across Europe, Germany’s DAX slipped 0.1 percent while France’s CAC advanced 0.4 percent.
The STOXX Europe 600 Insurance index was up 0.7 percent, making it one of the best-performing sectors.
RSA Insurance rose 1 percent after Deutsche Bank and Barclays increased their target prices for the stock, while Dutch insurer and financial services company NN Group also gained 1 percent after HSBC added it to its “Europe Super 10” list.
Mining stocks including Glencore and Anglo American fell, tracking a decline in metals prices.
Copper prices lost ground as the dollar rose, adding pressure on metals by making the asset class more expensive for consumers paying with other currencies.
Weaker oil prices pushed down the shares of BP and Total.
“The weakness in the commodity sector is not all that positive for general risk sentiment,” said Hantec Markets’ analyst Richard Perry.
Portuguese banks BPI and Millennium BCP fell more than 6 percent after Spain’s Caixabank and Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos failed to reach an agreement on their holdings in BPI.
While the FTSEurofirst has risen some 10 percent from February lows, the index remains down by 8 percent since the start of 2016, mainly due to concerns about a China-led global economic slowdown.
Today’s European research round-up
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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Tom Heneghan and John Stonestreet)