Worries over Ukraine, Chinese economy weigh on European shares

Mon May 5, 2014 12:47pm EDT

(Updates with final closing prices, adds volume data)

* Euro STOXX down 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.2 pct

* Weak Chinese data weighs, Wall St fuels late recovery

* Ukraine violence hurts sentiment, hits Wincor Nixdorf

* London market closed for public holiday, trading thin

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, May 5 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Monday as concerns about an escalating conflict in Ukraine and weak Chinese manufacturing data sapped investors' appetite for risk.

Most European indexes cut losses in late trade, however, as data showed growth in the U.S. services sector accelerated more than expected in April, building on Friday's strong non-farm payrolls.

The market's gyrations were exacerbated by thin trading volume due to London's stock market, the largest in Europe, being closed for a public holiday.

Activity in China's manufacturing sector contracted for a fourth consecutive month in April, data showed on Monday, raising more questions about the pace of growth in the world's No. 2 economy and its top consumer of metals.

"Without China and other emerging market countries it is impossible to go back to global growth of 5 to 5.5 percent," said Societe Generale global equity strategist Claudia Panseri.

The Euro STOXX index of euro zone shares closed down 0.3 percent at 322.73 points, with the blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index down 0.2 percent at 3,171.29 points.

Germany's DAX and France's CAC closed 0.3 percent lower and 0.1 percent higher, respectively, in volume roughly 30 percent lower than the monthly average for the past three months.

Europe's late recovery tracked a bounce on Wall Street, as an industry report showed the U.S. services sector rose at the fastest pace for eight months in April, while new orders jumped and overall activity quickened by the most since early 2008.

UKRAINE WORRY

Global growth prospects were dented by violence in Ukraine, where troops have been pressing a campaign to end pro-Russian rebellion in the eastern part of the country.

Companies in the Euro STOXX index only derive 1.6 percent of their revenues from eastern Europe, but investors worry about possible further sanctions between Russia and Western powers.

The impact of the conflict on European companies was starting to become apparent, with Wincor Nixdorf's chief executive Eckard Heidloff saying it was already hurting the maker of hardware and software for banks and retailers.

Shares in the group fell 5.1 percent as it reported weaker-than-expected quarterly sales, hit by volatile currencies in eastern Europe, where the group generates 10 percent of its revenues, according to Warburg Research's estimates.

"Clearly the weakness of Wincor's business in the second quarter was driven by the emerging markets in Europe," Bjorn Voss, an analyst at Warburg Research, said.

"Missing sales were about 60 million euros due to the total currency effects, including the dollar. The Crimea crisis could easily take this to (another) 50-60 million euros in the next quarters."

Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v

Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v

Today's European research round-up (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta in London and Blaise Robinson in Paris; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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