RPT-EURO GOVT-Bunds rise, stocks slip as Cyprus returns to fore

Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:34am EDT

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - German Bund futures hit a session high while European equities fell further on Thursday in a shift towards less risky assets, with concerns about Cyprus still at the forefront of investors' thinking.

Reuters reported that Euro zone finance officials acknowledged being "in a mess" over Cyprus during a conference call on Wednesday and discussed imposing capital controls.

"It all looks pretty bleak and it doesn't seem like they are getting any help from Russia. The market has been trying to shrug it off, with Cyprus being a small country, but the prospect of one country leaving the euro zone is enough to give a bid to Bunds," one trader said.

The Bund future rose to a session high of 144.64, up 34 ticks on the day while the FTSEurofirst 300 stock index extended losses to stand 1 percent lower on the day at 1,187.54.

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