25 de febrero de 2016 / 11:21 / en 2 años

European shares rebound as Lloyds and AXA lift financials

* FTSEurofirst rises but down since start of 2016

* Lloyds and AXA rise after results

* Zodiac slumps after profit warning

* Citi stays overweight on continental Europe shares (Adds details, updates prices)

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON Feb 25 (Reuters) - European shares rebounded on Thursday from losses earlier in the week, as solid corporate results from the likes of French insurer AXA and British bank Lloyds lifted stock markets.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had fallen around 4 percent in the previous two sessions, rose 1.4 percent by 1105 GMT.

The FTSEurofirst nevertheless remains down by around 10 percent since the start of 2016, with concerns about a slowing global economy weighing on world stock markets and commodity prices.

Markets were looking ahead to this weekend’s G20 meeting of world financial leaders in Shanghai but some investors were skeptical it could provide a big boost to sentiment.

“We’re getting closer to the G20 meeting but the market doesn’t look to be expecting much out of it,” said Alessandro Balsotti, Senior Portfolio Manager at JCI Capital in London.

Lloyds surged 5.6 percent after announcing a special dividend payment and higher profits, while shares in the rig company Seadrill advanced 6.7 percent as investors welcomed a refinancing plan.

AXA also progressed 1.9 percent after posting higher profits, and gains in top banking and insurance stocks added the most points to European stock markets.

However, Zodiac Aerospace slumped 22 percent after announcing a profit warning.

According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, 53 percent of companies on the European STOXX 600 index have met or beaten market expectations with their fourth quarter results.

U.S. investment bank Citigroup cut its 2016 global economic growth forecast but kept an “overweight” position on European shares excluding the UK, as it felt the UK market would be impacted by uncertainty around Britain’s ‘Brexit’ vote in June on whether or not to stay in the European Union.

“We remain ‘overweight’ Europe excluding the UK, where equities look especially attractive relative to bonds, and ‘underweight’ UK where Brexit fears are likely to be a drag,” Citigroup wrote in a note.

Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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