* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.4 pct
* British rate hike prospects hit UK property stocks
* Airlines sink, oil majors rise as Iraq violence boosts oil
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, June 13 British property companies led a
pullback in European indexes on Friday after the Bank of England
(BoE) flagged concerns about loose mortgage lending and raised
the prospect of a rate hike.
Violence in Iraq hit broader market sentiment and boosted
oil prices, with airline stocks among the worst hit while shares
in oil majors gained.
British real estate firms and housebuilders were among the
biggest decliners after BoE Governor Mark Carney said mortgage
lending practices were becoming looser and interest rates could
rise sooner than financial markets expect.
British Land and Land Securities fell
nearly 3 percent by 0748 GMT, while airlines easyJet and
IAG fell by more than 3 percent as Brent oil futures
rose towards $114 a barrel.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down
0.2 percent at 1,389.48 points while the euro zone Euro STOXX 50
fell 0.4 percent to 3,270.37 points, both retreating
from this week's six-year highs.
The cost of insuring against future swings in European
shares, as measured by the Euro STOXX Volatility index,
rose 6.2 percent. It had hit a low not seen since December 2006
"I'd rather be short (European stocks) at the moment,"
Hobart Capital Markets pan-European broker Justin Haque said.
"The market has lived in a blissful state but we're not
short of warning signs: there's a war in Iraq and Carney wants
to raise rates."
U.S. President Barack Obama threatened military strikes in
Iraq against Sunni Islamist militants who have surged from the
north to menace Baghdad and want to establish their own state in
Iraq and Syria.
Helping limit losses on broader indexes were oil majors such
as Total and BG Group, which both rose nearly 1
percent on the prospect of a windfall from higher crude prices.
"There is plenty more room to the downside," said Peregrine
& Black senior trader Markus Huber, who has a short position on
"Much depends, however, on the situation in Iraq and if the
West is starting to take this seriously. So far the overall
implication on the global economy is small but if this continues
and worsens this could change substantially."
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(Editing by Louise Ireland)