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Europe: Shares head lower for 4th day, banks lead losses

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[MILAN] European shares fell in early trading on Tuesday with all major sectors in the red though banks led the decline on fresh political jitters and following a downgrade by a top global broker.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.6 per cent and the euro zone blue chip index declined 0.7 per cent, while Britain's FTSE also fell 0.5 per cent as it reopened following a long weekend.

Banks were the biggest sectoral fallers, down more than 1 per cent, after Deutsche Bank cut its rating on the sector by one notch to "underweight".

Strategists at the German bank said the sector was among the most sensitive to swings in euro area growth, which they expect will fade, and that valuations are no longer compelling.

Market voices on:

Italian banking shares, on the retreat for the past two sessions on worries over early elections, were among the top losers again on Tuesday. Unicredit fell more than 2 per cent.

In the UK, shares of British Airways-owner IAG fell 4 per cent on the first day of trading following the massive disruption to flights due to an IT outage.