11 de diciembre de 2014 / 11:24 / en 3 años

Euro zone shares halt slide on ECB stimulus hopes

* Euro STOXX 50 up 0.2 pct, FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.3 pct

* Low take-up for ECB funds underpin stimulus expectations

* Airbus sags; worries on demand for fuel-efficient aircrafts

By Francesco Canepa and Blaise Robinson

LONDON\PARIS, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Euro zone shares halted a three-day losing streak on Thursday as expectations for further monetary stimulus were underpinned by low take-up for the European Central Bank’s latest round of cheap loans.

Gains appeared fragile, however, as this week’s slump in oil and iron ore prices weighed on a number of resource-related stocks and Greek shares fell for a third day on concerns about the outcome of presidential elections later this month.

Banks borrowed 129.8 billion euros ($161 billion) of four-year loans on Thursday from the ECB, taking barely more than half of the total money that had been offered this year as the euro zone’s economy continues to struggle.

Shares in euro zone banks briefly extended gains after the data, which was seen as adding pressure on the ECB to unveil plans to buy sovereign bonds next year to stimulate the economy.

“It doesn’t change things in a major way but it does keep the hope (of bond purchases) alive,” Markus Huber, a senior trader at Peregrine & Black, said.

The euro zone Euro STOXX 50 blue chip index was up 0.2 percent while the Euro STOXX banking index advanced up 0.3 percent at 1046 GMT, capped by sharp falls in Greek banks.

Investors worry about the prospect of early elections in the country, where the radical leftist opposition Syriza party is leading in the polls, if Prime Minister Antonis Samaras fails to secure enough support for his presidential nominee at a vote later this month.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.3 percent at 1,352.86 points. The index has lost 3.7 percent so far this week.

Among individual movers, Airbus fell 3.2 percent, adding to a 10 percent drop in the previous session after the planemaker predicted flat profits in 2016. That surprised investors who had expected new and recently upgraded models to start boosting results that year.

Zara owner Inditex bucked the trend, gaining 3 percent after posting in-line earnings.

Shares in CGG tumbled 7.5 percent after a media report saying the French government has doubts about a potential tie-up with rival Technip. Technip shares gained 1.8 percent. (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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