* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.6 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.8 pct
* FTSEurofirst rebounds from last week's falls
* Relief at peaceful passage of Crimea referendum
* Siemens leads Russia-exposed risers as sanctions awaited
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, March 17 European stocks nosed up on
Monday with a major index recovering from its lowest level in
more than a month after Sunday's referendum over whether Crimea
will join Russia passed without violence and as anticipated
sanctions have yet to materialise.
The FTSEurofirst 300 is 4.3 percent off its
year-to-date high, and traders remain cautious given the lack of
a long-term solution to the standoff between Russia and the
West, as well as the impact of potential sanctions.
The index had its biggest loss since January last week ahead
of the referendum, which Crimea's Moscow-backed leaders said
showed an overwhelming majority in favour of quitting Ukraine
and annexation by Russia.
The index had closed down 0.7 percent at 1,284.32 points on
Friday - marking its lowest level since early February - as
investors sought to reduce exposure ahead of the uncertainty of
the weekend's referendum.
"People are not panicking. Much of the Crimea news had been
priced in last week and the market is now just calming itself
down," Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets
Investment Management, said.
The FTSEurofirst was up 0.6 percent to 1,291.60 by 0856 GMT.
Traders said that the market remained vulnerable, however,
depending on the details of possible sanctions by the United
States and the European Union that could possibly spark a spiral
of economically damaging tit-for-tat measures.
Stocks in Russia rallied, and the relief rally in Europe was
led by a handful of larger German stocks, with many DAX-listed
firms having been hard hit by the crisis in Ukraine.
Siemens, which has substantial exposure to Russia
and had fallen 6.4 percent over the last two
weeks, was the top riser in Europe, up 3.2 percent, after JP
Morgan and BofA Merrill Lynch upgrade the stock, to "overweight"
and "buy" respectively from "neutral".
Austria's Raffeisen Bank, which has the highest
percentage exposure to Ukraine in Europe, according to MSCI,
rose 3 percent. It also has more than 20 percent exposure to
The EuroSTOXX 50 rose 0.8 percent to 3,029.37,
with futures on the index up 0.9 percent to 3,029. Clive Lambert
at FuturesTechs identified 3,021 as a resistance on the futures
chart, and said that the recent falls meant that the medium-term
trend looked bullish.
"If the bulls want to rescue this now would be a good time
with some solid supports below."
Europe bourses in 2014:
Asset performance in 2014:
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