October 7, 2016 / 8:27 AM / 2 years ago

Continental European stock markets slip, underperform UK's FTSE

(ADVISORY- Follow European and UK stock markets in real time on the Reuters Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets)

* STOXX 600, DAX and CAC all fall

* But UK’s FTSE 100 rises as sterling loses more ground

* Edenred falls after UBS downgrade

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Continental European stock markets fell on Friday, with vouchers company Edenred and airline easyJet among the worst performers, although a new slump in sterling propped up Britain’s FTSE 100.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down by 0.5 percent and Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC both retreated by a similar amount. The STOXX 600 has fallen by around 7 percent since the start of 2016.

“European stocks look utterly uninteresting to me at the moment. Corporate profits are weak and the economy remains weak as well,” said Andreas Clenow, chief investment officer at Swiss-based ACIES Asset Management.

Edenred fell 4.7 percent after UBS cut its rating on the stock to “neutral” from “buy”. EasyJet fell 3.3 percent after broker downgrades following its profit warning on Thursday.

However, the FTSE 100 managed to gain 0.5 percent, since the slump in sterling should benefit exporters and help the index’s international companies .

Sterling slid on new concern that British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government will back a “hard Brexit” where Britain quits the European Union’s single market in favour of imposing controls on immigration.

That could hinder inward and outward trade and constrict the foreign investment needed to fund Britain’s current account deficit, one of the biggest in the developed world.

Concern over European banks were also weighing on stocks, said Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Geneva-based fund management and consultancy firm Prime Partners.

Deutsche Bank, whose shares rose on Friday but remain near record lows, is fighting a fine of up to $14 billion from the U.S. Department of Justice over the alleged mis-selling of mortgage backed securities.

Investors are also concerned about bad debts in the Italian banking system.

“Europe seems to offer value, but concerns over the financial system and political uncertainties - particularly with the French and German elections next year - call for caution,” said Savary, who has reduced his European equity allocation. (Additional reporting by Atul Prakash, editing by Larry King)

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