16 de septiembre de 2014 / 11:24 / en 3 años

Europe stocks slip as Fed jitters eclipse M&A fever

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.5 pct, hits two-week low

* Worries about U.S. rates, Scotland referendum

* ‘Expect turbulence,’ Wells Fargo AM’s Paulsen says

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Sept 16 (Reuters) - European stocks fell on Tuesday, with one index hitting a two-week low, as this week’s referendum on independence in Scotland and the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting kept investors on edge.

The worries overshadowed recent enthusiasm about brisk mergers and acquisition activity in Europe in the past few days.

Jazztel helped to lead the gains across Europe on Tuesday, rising 5.7 percent on the day after a 13 percent rally on Monday. France’s Orange has announced a deal to buy the Spanish fixed-line telecommunications operator.

At 1100 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares had fallen 0.5 percent to 1,375.18 points, a level not seen since early September. The index has been losing steam in the past two weeks, pending the Fed’s meeting and Scotland’s referendum.

“Generally, there’s been some turbulence every time the Fed has moved from accommodation to tightening,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Fargo Asset Management, which has $490 billion under management.

“To think that in the mother of all monetary easing cycles, which is what we’re going through, we’re going to turn the monetary boat without any turbulence is unrealistic. But this will bring a lot of buying opportunities for the long term.”

The Fed will begin its two-day policy meeting later on Tuesday, and investors will be watching for clues on the timing of the first rate hike in more than eight years. The Fed will also release economic and interest rate projections, extending their forecast horizon through 2017.

Recent talk that the Fed might turn hawkish, possibly by dropping its commitment to keeping interest rates low, has pushed up U.S. Treasury yields.

UK’s FTSE 100 index was down 0.7 percent on Tuesday - underperforming Germany’s DAX index and France’s CAC 40, both down 0.4 percent - as investors trimmed their exposure to UK equities before Scotland votes on independence on Thursday.

Shares in Standard Life were down 1.9 percent and Aberdeen Asset Management down 1.3 percent.

Thomas Cook sank 6.4 percent after the British holiday operator highlighted a slowdown in bookings in its German market, which accounts for about a third of group revenues.

Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v

Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v

Today’s European research round-up

Editing by Larry King

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