August 29, 2016 / 4:31 PM / 2 years ago

European shares lower on U.S. rate hike expectations, Alstom up

* Pan-European STOXX 600 down 0.2 pct at close

* Alstom boosted by high speed train deal

* Fingerprint Cards gains on client China launch (Recasts, adds detail and updated prices at close)

By Kit Rees and Danilo Masoni

MILAN, Aug 29 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Monday as top Federal Reserve officials bolstered expectations for a U.S. rate hike this year, while Alstom bucked the weaker trend after a contract win.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.2 percent, giving up some of the gains seen in the previous session, while a holiday closure of UK markets kept activity low.

At the Fed’s annual gathering for global central bankers on Friday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the case for a rate hike had strengthened, but while she gave no hints about timing, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said later her speech was consistent with expectations for possible rate increases this year.

Investors said Friday’s U.S. jobs report was now in strong focus for any further clues about whether the next U.S. rate hike could come as early as September. Futures priced in a 33 percent chance of a September hike, up from 18 percent last week.

“The U.S. non-farm payrolls report should deliver the final indicator for the market as to whether it has correctly priced in the probability of a September rate hike,” analysts at BayernLB said in a note.

Europe’s STOXX 600 Oil & Gas index fell 0.6 percent, one of the biggest sectoral decliners, weighed down by falls in crude oil prices. Shares in oil majors Total and Eni fell 0.9 and 1 percent respectively.

Stada fell 0.3 percent after activist investor Active Ownership Capital succeeded in persuading shareholders of Stada over the weekend to remove the company’s supervisory board chairman in a voting marathon, but failed to install its own candidate.

Among gainers, Alstom rose 2.9 percent after the French transport group signed a 1.8 billion euro ($2 billion) deal to design and build 28 new high-speed trains for U.S. rail operator Amtrak.

Sweden’s Fingerprint Cards gained 4 percent following a media report that its client was preparing a smart card launch in China.

$1 = 0.8937 euros Reporting by Danilo Masoni

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