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European shares snap rally on global growth concerns
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 flat
* Basic resources shares down 2.8 pct on weak China data fears
* Ibex 35 up 1.8 pct on optimism over euro zone aid deal
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, June 8 (Reuters) - European equities snapped a four-day rally on Friday as investors, already disappointed at a lack of U.S. monetary stimulus, positioned for a possible batch of weak Chinese economic data over the weekend.
Cyclical stocks led the selloff as markets feared a surprise interest rate cut in China On Thursday signalled the impending release of grim economic data, while the U.S. Federal Reserve quashed market hopes for a cash injection.
"Yesterday (Fed Chairman Ben) Bernanke disappointed and the market reacted badly," Lorne Baring, managing director of B Capital Wealth Management, said.
"Equities are attractive at the current levels but we have to exercise caution because of the macro overlay, defined by the European crisis and the risk of a Chinese slowdown."
Baring had been "underweight" equities since April but started building up positions more recently, estimating an 11 percent sell-off in global equities since late March was overdone as central banks in the United States and China would eventually intervene to shore up the world's largest economies.
China, the world's second largest economy and top metal consumer, cut its deposit and interest rates on Thursday, sparking speculation the move was a prelude to worse-than-expected second quarter economic data over the weekend and sending basic resources shares down 2.8 percent.
"We suspect that this rate and deposit cut indicates that underlying inflation is going to fall a lot more than people expect," Credit Suisse strategists said in a note.
They were "strategic bears" of mining stocks on concerns about investments and house prices in China, the world's largest consumer of metals, but acknowledged there was scope for a "tactical trade" on the sector, which had been "oversold" on overly pessimistic expectations for U.S. growth after recent weak data.
Despite their recent rebound, metals & mining stocks were still trading at the lowest valuation multiple of all components of the STOXX 60 index at 14.8 times their expected earnings for the next twelve months, compared to a 17.3 multiple for the broader index.
They were among the worst perfumers on Friday, with Rio Tinto and Eurasian falling 4.8 percent and 3.9 percent to the bottom of the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index.
The FTSEurofirst 300 closed 0.2 percent lower at 982.30 points, having traded 108.79 percent of its 90-day volume average.
Spain's IBEX 35 rose 1.8 percent, outperforming all major national indices on expectations Madrid would ask the euro zone for help with recapitalisation its banks at the weekend.
Spanish utility Iberdrola and telecoms groups Telefonica were among the top gainers, rising 5 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.
They helped the Euro STOXX 50 close flat on the day at 2,143.90 points on brisk volume of 127 percent of its 90-day average.
After rising 75 points in four session, the euro zone blue chip gauge had entered a consolidation phase, although downside was seen as limited, charts on the index's June futures showed.
"The push below the low boundary of an ascending channel has triggered a consolidation move," Philippe Delabarre, an analyst Trading Central said. "The 50-simple moving average is turning down and is now acting as a resistance."
Delabarre expected the future contract, which settled at 2,142 on Friday, to head towards 2,110 and 2,090, while he set a stop loss at 2,170.
Finnish handset-maker Nokia was the top riser on the index, adding 6 percent on speculation of takeover interest from South Korean rival Samsung Electronics.
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