September 5, 2014 / 3:20 PM / in 4 years

European shares dip after ECB rally; Russia-exposed stocks rise

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.4 pct, dips from 6-1/2 yr high

* Index set to post fourth weekly gain in a row

* Russia-exposed shares outperform as ceasefire is agreed

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - European stocks dipped on Friday as traders cashed in on a brisk rally over the past month, fuelled by expectations of fresh stimulus measures by the European Central Bank.

Shares exposed to Russia outperformed, however, as representatives of Ukraine, the pro-Russian separatist leadership, Russia and the OSCE security watchdog agreed on a ceasefire.

BP, which owns 20 percent of Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, rose 2.2 percent.

Shares in tyre maker Nokian Tyres, which generates a third of its revenue in Russia, Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International, which relies heavily on Russia for profits, and Danish brewer Carlsberg, which has a large exposure to the country, rose between 0.8 percent and 1.8 percent.

At 1434 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.4 percent at 1,394.84 points, retreating from a 6-1/2 year high hit in the previous session, when the ECB cut rates and announced a new stimulus plan.

The euro zone blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.2 percent at 3,271.71 points after stepping in to “overbought” territory in the previous session, according to its Relative Strength Index, a closely watched indicator of share price momentum.

Both indexes were up for the fourth consecutive week.

European bourses came off their morning lows after data showed U.S. employers hired the fewest number of workers in eight months in August and more Americans gave up the hunt for jobs, providing a cautious Federal Reserve with more reasons to wait longer before raising interest rates.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 142,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, less than economists had expected. On the upside, the number of long-term unemployed Americans was the lowest since January 2009 and there was a decline in those working part-time for economic reasons.

“It’s a decent number: it’s weak enough not to start the tightening fears and strong enough not to panic about growth. The market basically shrugged it off,” Christian Gattiker, chief strategist and head of research at Julius Baer, said.

“After the decent run since early August nobody was expecting that to boost the market.”

In the longer term, Jonathan Stubbs, equity strategist at Citi, saw further gains in European stocks thanks to the ECB’s stimulus.

“European equities have returned 8 percent so far this year, recovering strongly from the recent summer sell-off as bad news - weaker macro data - has quickly become good news - more ECB liquidity,” he wrote in a note.

“European equities are... no longer cheap in absolute terms, but still super cheap relative to other asset classes, such as credit.”

Europe bourses in 2014:

Asset performance in 2014:

Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson in Paris; editing by John Stonestreet)

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