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Europe: Shares inch lower led by banks

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European shares opened slightly lower on Friday with banking stocks leading the decline and Italian insurer Generali down after net profit fell short of expectations.

[MILAN] European shares opened slightly lower on Friday with banking stocks leading the decline and Italian insurer Generali down after net profit fell short of expectations.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.2 per cent at 1,336.86 points by 0811 GMT, and was on course for its first negative week in five.

Germany's DAX fell 0.6 per cent.

Banking stocks were the top sectoral fallers with a drop of 1 per cent. Banco Popolare and Banca Popolare di Milano were both down more than 4 per cent after the ECB set conditions to approve their planned merger and asked for a multi-year industrial plan within a month.

Generali fell 2 per cent after the insurer boosted its financial strength but missed expectations with its net profit.

REUTERS

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