European shares led lower by oil stocks as Doha deal fails

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.3 percent

* TUI leads travel stocks higher after upgrade

* Reckitt rises after earnings update

* Caixabank falls after launching bid for Banco BPI (ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon (see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development).)

By Danilo Masoni and Alistair Smout

MILAN/LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Monday, with oil stocks leading the market lower as crude prices tumbled after a meeting by major exporters in Doha collapsed without a deal to freeze output.

The STOXX Europe Oil and Gas index slipped 1.4 percent, making it the top sectoral loser. Shares in Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Eni were all down nearly 2 percent.

A deal to freeze oil output by OPEC and non-OPEC producers fell apart on Sunday after Saudi Arabia demanded that Iran join in despite calls on Riyadh to save the agreement and help prop up crude prices.

“The effects of the Doha talks failure on oil prices and (most of all) on other asset classes are going to be the main focus of today’s session,” Alessandro Balsotti, portfolio manager at JCI Capital Limited, said in a note.

Mining sector stocks edged 0.4 percent lower as copper prices were weighed down by the plunge in crude oil prices following the oil deal failure.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.3 percent, touching its lowest intraday level since Wednesday, and the Euro STOXX 50 was also down 0.3 percent.

However, markets rose off their lows, aided by stocks that benefit from a low oil price.

Travel and leisure stocks rose 0.8 percent, helped by the fall in crude prices as oil is a major input cost for airlines and tour operators.

Travel operator TUI was the leading gainer in the sector and on the FTSEurofirst 300. It was last up 3.8 percent after Berenberg upgraded the stock to buy from hold.

“TUI continues to deliver a superior performance within its tour operation business. This is reflected in a stronger top-line evolution and also it has had a superior cash generation for shareholders,” analysts at Berenberg said in a note.

Also among top risers was Reckitt Benckiser, which rose around 1.5 percent after it reported slightly better than expected quarterly sales and affirmed its full-year forecast.

Spain’s Caixabank tumbled 4.2 percent, the top individual faller on the FTSEurofirst 300, after it said it was making a fresh takeover offer worth around $1 billion for the 56 percent of Portuguese lender Banco BPI that it does not already own.

Chipmakers such as ARM Holdings and Dialog Semiconductor fell around 3 percent. Traders linked the drop to a report in the Nikkei business daily saying that tech giant Apple will continue its reduced production of iPhones in light of sluggish sales..

Today’s European research round-up

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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA.