European shares propped up by gains at BT and Repsol

(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. See the bottom of the report for more details) Updates prices, adds details)

* FTSEurofirst 300 rebounds, still down nearly 10 pct in 2016

* BT shares rise after stronger than expected earnings

* Span’s Repsol up after profits fall less than expected

* Centrica lead losers on share placement plans

By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danilo Masoni

LONDON/MILAN, May 5 (Reuters) - European stock markets steadied on Thursday, buoyed by encouraging earning updates by firms including telecoms group BT and oil company Repsol.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rebounded slightly to stand 0.2 percent higher after falling 1.2 percent in the previous session to its lowest level in almost a month.

The FTSEurofirst has lost around 10 percent so far in 2016, hit -- like other global stock markets -- by worries about a slowdown in China, the world’s second-biggest economy, and uncertainty over future U.S interest rate rises.

“Lower prices are starting to attract bargain hunters,” said Markus Huber, a trader at City of London Markets Limited.

“However, overall sentiment remains negative as uncertainty concerning global growth, a potential U.S. rate hike in the third quarter and disappointing corporate earnings continue to take a toll on markets,” he added.

BT was one of the best-performing stocks in the region, rising 3.1 percent after the phone group reported a better-than-expected 6 percent rise in full-year earnings.

Firmer oil prices also lifted the shares of major oil producers, with Tullow Oil up 3.5 percent.

Spanish oil major Repsol climbed 4.7 percent after posting a decline in first-quarter profits which was not as bad as some had expected.

“A better than expected performance from the downstsream driven by petrochemicals, alongside the upstream business turning positive for the first time in a while, both contributed to the strong performance,” analysts at RBC said in a note.

On the downside, Centrica fell 9.7 percent, making it the top loser on the FTSEurofirst 300, after the British energy supplier said it would sell shares to raise funds, partly to cut debt.

Today’s European research round-up

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Mike Dolan, Markets Editor EMEA. (Editing by Mark Trevelyan)