June 17, 2016 / 4:46 PM / 2 years ago

European shares recover as banks rebound and Greece outperforms

(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) Adds details, updates prices)

* STOXX 600 and FTSEurofirst 300 rise more than 1 pct

* But European stocks still end with weekly loss

* Greece outperforms after latest aid for Athens

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, June 17 (Reuters) - A rebound in battered bank stocks lifted European shares on Friday, with Greek equities outperforming, although traders said markets would be choppy next week going into Britain’s vote on whether to remain a member of the European Union.

The suspension of referendum campaigning after the killing on Thursday of Jo Cox, a pro-EU lawmaker, also eased some of the selling pressure suffered by stock markets this week. A man with suspected neo-Nazi links and a history of mental illness has been arrested over Cox’s death.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.4 percent while the similar FTSEurofirst 300 index advanced 1.2 percent.

Nevertheless, both ended with the week with losses of more than 2 percent, having fallen close to four-month lows on Thursday, and both are down roughly 10 percent so far in 2016.

Athens’ benchmark ATG equity index outperformed, rising 5.4 percent after debt-ridden Greece got its latest financial aid from European authorities.

“Greece has seen a bit of a bounce after the Eurogroup granted Greece its latest 7.5 billion euros ($8.4 billion)tranche of funding,” said Markus Huber, trader at City of London Markets Limited.

Britons will vote on June 23 on whether to leave the EU. Fears the world’s fifth-largest economy will quit the bloc it joined in 1973 have hit stock markets this week, driving investors into safe-haven assets such as gold and German Bunds.

Recent opinion polls have put the “Leave” camp in the lead, although betting odds show a greater probability that Britain will vote to stay.

“The ‘Leave’ camp has been ahead in the polls, but that does not necessarily mean they will win the actual vote. We don’t want to call the result either way, and I would expect the rally today to soon fizzle out at the start of next week,” said Dominic Ryder, senior trader at JNF Capital.

Rory McPherson, head of investment strategy at Psigma Investment Management, expected Britain to remain in the EU but said his firm had nevertheless cut back on stocks and built up cash reserves in anticipation of market volatility next week.

“We think it’ll be a very narrow victory for ‘Remain’, with the margins much closer to those predicted by the polls than the bookies,” said McPherson.

($1 = 0.8883 euros)

Today’s European research round-up

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). In a real-time, multimedia format from 0600 London time through the 1630 closing bell, it will include the best of our market reporting, Stocks Buzz service, Eikon graphics, Reuters pictures, eye-catching research and market zeitgeist. Breaking news and dramatic market moves will continue to be alerted to all clients and we will continue to provide a short opening story and comprehensive closing reports.

If you have any thoughts, suggestions or feedback on this, please email mike.dolan@thomsonreuters.com.

Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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