* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.5 pct
* Actelion jumps 14 percent on positive results for
* BNP up after French finmin's comments on U.S. talks
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, June 16 European stocks slipped in early
trade on Monday, adding to last week's retreat as mounting
violence in Iraq prompted investors to lock in more of their
profits on recent equity market gains.
Shares in Denmark's Vestas dropped 4.2 percent
after Barclays cut its recommendation on the world's biggest
wind turbine maker to 'underweight' from 'equal weight', saying
the stock is overvalued.
Swiss biotech group Actelion Ltd bucked the trend,
surging 14 percent after it said its experimental heart and lung
drug Selexipag met its primary goal in a late-stage study,
giving it a potential second big seller.
But as of 0806 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of
top European shares was down 0.2 percent at 1,386.45 points,
retreating further from a 6-1/2 year high hit last week.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index
was down 0.5 percent, at 3,267.22 points.
"Geopolitics is driving the market again, with worrying news
coming from Iraq, but also Kenya and Russia. Overall, there's a
lack of positive momentum since the ECB meeting," said Guillaume
Dumans, co-head of research firm 2Bremans.
On Sunday, Sunni insurgents solidified their grip on
northern Iraq after a lightning offensive that threatens to
dismember the country.
That helped send Brent crude above $113 per barrel
on Monday on concerns over disruptions to oil exports from the
second-largest OPEC producer.
Investors were also rattled by violence in Kenya, where at
least 48 people were killed and others wounded when more than
two dozen unidentified gunmen attacked a coastal town overnight.
In Ukraine at the weekend, 49 Ukrainian military personnel
were killed when rebels shot down a cargo plane over the airport
of the eastern city of Luhansk, while talks between Moscow and
Kiev over Russian gas import prices broke down.
Around Europe, UK's FTSE 100 index was down 0.1
percent, Germany's DAX index down 0.3 percent, and
France's CAC 40 down 0.3 percent.
Shares in BNP Paribas - recently hurt by worries
over a potential big fine from U.S. authorities - were up 0.7
percent after France's finance minister said talks between BNP
and U.S. authorities had progressed towards a "more equitable"
On the M&A front, shares in Alstom rose 0.6
percent after sources said Germany's Siemens and
Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries were putting the
finishing touches on a joint offer for Alstom's turbine
businesses. Siemens shares were up 0.2 percent.
Euro zone banking stocks were under pressure, with the
sector's index down 0.7 percent, after ECB Governing
Council member Ewald Nowotny told a newspaper stress tests being
conducted on major European banks before the European Central
Bank takes on supervising them late this year may end up being
Italy's Banco Popolare was down 2.2 percent and
France's Credit Agricole down 1.5 percent.
European stocks have sharply rallied since mid-April, helped
by the prospect of further measures from the European Central
Bank to support the region's fragile economic recovery.
Earlier this month, the ECB cut interest rates, launched a
series of measures to pump money into the euro zone economy and
pledged to do more if needed to fight off the risk of Japan-like
Patrick Legland, global head of research at Societe
Generale, warned that the impact from the fresh ECB measures on
the real economy could take time to materialise.
"The ECB stimulus is welcomed but not enough to boost the
economy without additional growth-friendly measures. Recent
figures show the euro zone rebound is losing steam,
first-quarter GDP was barely positive," Legland wrote in a note.
"While equity valuations remain attractive, earnings growth
could be difficult to achieve in this economic context."
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(Editing by Hugh Lawson)