Commerzbank, StanChart drag European shares off 5-yr peak

Mon May 13, 2013 4:31am EDT

* FTSEurofirst 300, STOXX Europe 600 both down 0.2 pct

* Commerzbank falls 4.4 pct as discounted rights issue looms

* Stan Chart sheds 4.2 pct as Carson Block bets against group

* Losses capped by some solid corporate results

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) - European shares pulled back from five-year highs on Monday, led lower by struggling lender Commerzbank and some technical selling on overbought indexes.

Shares in Germany's No.2 bank fell 4.5 percent as sources said it may offer shares at a step discount in a rights issue this week, signalling limited appetite for the stock and weighing on the European banking sector.

It was the top faller on Germany's Dax index, down 0.5 percent at 8,240.73 points and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, down 0.2 percent at 1,230.97 points at 0800 GMT.

Both indexes were deep in "overbought" territory, their Relative Strength Indexes - a momentum indicator - showed, leading some short-term technical traders to book profits.

"If (the Dax) falls below 8,200 I reckon we can see a further selloff," ETX Capital strategist Ishaq Siddiqi said.

"...The temptation to book profit is very strong in the market, especially because we don't have any fresh catalyst."

Standard Chartered, down 4.3 percent in volume of 72 percent of its 90-day average, was another major faller. Traders cited a Bloomberg report that Carson Block, who runs short-seller research firm Muddy Waters, is betting against the UK financial firm's debt because of deteriorating loan quality.

The STOXX 600 Europe banking index fell 1.3 percent.

Some solid corporate results helped European indexes limit their losses, with Italian motorway operator Atlantia up 1.6 percent after a quarterly update.

French carmaker Renault added 2.3 percent after saying its partner Nissan Motor Co contributed 433 million euros ($561.69 million) to first-quarter earnings.

The STOXX Europe 600 index, down 0.2 percent at 304.3 points, has risen 7.5 percent since mid-April, fuelled by stimulus measures by central banks, leading some investors to wonder whether a pause may be due.

Strategists at Deutsche Bank said the longer-term trend remained positive, citing stronger data from the United States and early signs of a turnaround in Europe.

"The upside to our year-end Stoxx 600 target of 315 has fallen to 3 percent, but we remain both strategically and tactically positive on euro area equities," they write in a note.