* STOXX down 0.2 pct after hitting 15 month high last week
* Oil stocks lead sectoral fallers as crude prices slip
* Deutsche Bank biggest bank faller as cash call nears
* UBS falls after news of trial in French tax case
* Mood dampened by G20 decision to drop free trade pledge
(Adds details, updates prices)
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN, March 20 European shares retreated
slightly from 15-month highs on Monday with lower crude prices
weighing on oil stocks and Deutsche Bank dragging
banks lower one day before the start of its 8 billion-euro cash
The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.2 percent
by 1012 GMT after hitting its highest level since December 2015
last week in a rally driven by better economic data, good
company earnings and merger and acquisition activity.
But caution prevailed on Monday after the leaders of the
world's biggest economies dropped a pledge to keep global trade
free and open, acquiescing to an increasingly protectionist
United States after a two-day meeting failed to yield a
In spite of the prudent mood some investors said they
remained upbeat about prospects for equity markets.
"Overall sentiment is neutral to positive," Markus Huber,
trader at City of London Markets said.
"However, more positive data or news will be needed in order
for markets to be able to post the next leg higher and for
traders be willing to take on more risk."
The oil and gas index was the biggest sectoral loser
on Monday, down 1.2 percent, as crude prices fell on rising U.S.
drilling activity and steady supplies from OPEC countries.
The biggest drags on the index were oil majors Total
BP and Eni, which fell between 0.8 and
Banks were also under pressure.
Deutsche Bank fell 2 percent after the German
lender disclosed terms of its 8 billion euro cash call, its
fourth capital increase since 2010. The recapitalisation, aimed
at funding a strategy overhaul, will start on Tuesday.
A 1.3 percent drop in UBS shares also weighed on
the sector. The Swiss bank said it and its French subsidiary
faced a trial in France over a tax case after authorities laid
out charges against the pair.
Elsewhere, Vodafone shares added 0.2 percent on news
that Vodafone and India's Idea Cellular had agreed to merge
their Indian operations.
"Shares are virtually unmoved on the announcement ... as
investors wait for what's expected to be a fairly downbeat set
of annual results in May," said Neil Wilson, senior market
analyst at ETX Capital.
Ingenico rose as much as 4.5 percent before
turning lower by 3 percent after Atos formally denied
a report it was preparing an offer for the French payments
(Editing by Catherine Evans)