August 1, 2016 / 9:10 AM / 4 years ago

European shares little changed; UniCredit leads weak banks sectors after tests

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* Pan-European STOXX 600 index up 0.1 percent

* Banks led lower by UniCredit, Raiffesen

* But Italian lender Monte Paschi outperforms

* Miners lead sectoral gainers as copper prices rise

* Heineken down after results, Legrand up

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, Aug 1 (Reuters) - European shares were little changed on Monday, with higher mining stocks offset by losses in banks such Raiffesen and UniCredit which performed poorly in a Europe-wide stress tests.

By 0845 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 also rose by the same amount.

The STOXX 600 banking index fell 0.9 percent, reversing earlier gains as enthusiasm for the results of stress which delivered little negative surprises was short-lived.

Austrian bank Raiffeisen, which emerged among the four worst perfomers in the tests along with Monte dei Paschi, Banco Popular and UniCredit, fell 7.3 percent, making it the biggest loser in the sector.

UniCredit fell 6 percent as the poor showing in the tests highlighted the need for Italy’s biggest bank by assets to strengthen its capital, while Banco Popular fell 3.2 percent.

“The stress test results confirm the necessity for UniCredit to reinforce its capital position” Banca Akros analyst Luigi Tramontana said in a note.

Monte dei Paschi however rose 2.3 percent, as some optimism over a last-minute rescue plan offset the Italian lender’s bad showing in the tests, where it fared the worst.

Europe’s STOXX 600 Basic Resources index which includes mining stocks, rose 1.6 percent as copper prices rose after a report showed that activity picked up at China’s small-to-medium size factories in July.

Among other gainers, Legrand rose 4.7 percent on the back of its well-received results at the French power switch maker, whose sales growth in the first half beat expectations.

But Heineken fell 2.8 percent after the Dutch brewer reported first half revenue below Reuters’ estimates, hurt by declining sales in Africa and Eastern Europe. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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