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[MILAN] European shares fell in early trading on Monday, weighed down by weaker banks and a profit warning at filter products maker Essentra, while insurer Generali was boosted by takeover talk.
The STOXX 600 fell 0.7 per cent by 0819 GMT, extending last week's drop, as the region's equity markets reacted to a protectionist tone struck by US President Donald Trump in his inauguration speech on Friday.
Essentra fell 12 per cent, topping losers on the pan-European index, after the UK firm warned that full-year adjusted operating profit would miss or meet only the lower end of its forecasts.
Generali rose 4.6 per cent. Italian newspaper La Stampa reported on Saturday that Intesa Sanpaolo could take a stake in Generali, possibly teaming up with German insurer Allianz , which is looking for acquisition targets.
Allianz fell 1.5 per cent, while Intesa Sanpaolo fell 2.3 per cent, helping drag the European banking sector down 1.5 per cent, the biggest sectoral loser in Europe.