European shares turn negative as banks, techs slip

LONDON Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:57am GMT

LONDON Jan 29 (Reuters) - European equities turned negative on Tuesday, with Royal Bank of Scotland leading European banks lower after a media report that the British bank was close to a settlement over Libor interest-rate rigging allegations.

The market also came under pressure from weaker tech stocks , down 0.5 percent, with Germany's Software AG falling 14.5 percent after saying it expected 2013 earnings per share to be down from the previous year.

RBS dropped 5.3 percent on a Wall Street Journal report, citing people briefed on the negotiations, that the bank was nearing a 500 million pounds ($785.32 million) settlement with U.S. and British authorities over claims some of its employees submitted false Libor rates.

The STOXX Europe 600 banking index fell 1 percent, the top sectoral faller, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1053 GMT after opening higher.