* STOXX down 0.1 pct
* Banks pull back, miners biggest sectoral fallers
* Pain maker Akzo drops after new offer rejected
* PostNL, Tod's slump as earning updates disappoint
* Euro zone investor morale up
(Adds details, updates prices)
By Danilo Masoni and Helen Reid
MILAN/PARIS, May 8 European shares briefly hit
fresh highs on Monday before dipping into the red, pulled lower
by banks and resources-related stocks, as the widely anticipated
result of the French presidential vote spurred some
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.1
percent, while France's CAC fell 0.6 percent after
hitting its highest levels in more than 9 years. The German DAX
was down 0.2 percent after touching a new all time
Centrist Emmanuel Macron was elected French president with a
business-friendly vision of European integration, defeating his
far-right rival Marine Le Pen who threatened to take France out
of the European Union.
"The market had already strongly rallied into this
election," said JP Morgan global market strategist Emmanuel Cau.
"We've cut a little bit of risk, specifically in the capital
goods and chemicals sectors."
Banks, which are more sensitive than other sectors to
political factors, also turned negative. The euro zone bank
index fell 0.7 percent after earlier hitting its highest
since November 2015.
French banks BNP Paribas and Societe General
fell 1 percent and 2.7 percent respectively.
Some market participants have speculated that a Macron win
could be the last piece of the puzzle for the European Central
Bank to begin rolling back from its ultra-loose monetary
policies. Banks have been penalised by ultra-low interest rates
and possible tightening measures by the ECB could help ease
pressure off their margins.
In spite of the Monday's weakness, investors remained upbeat
about prospects for European equities, which have started to
outperform U.S. and British peers on the back of one of the best
earnings season in many years and bright macro data.
JP Morgan's Cau said the French election result could still
boost inflows into European stocks and make the region more
investable in the medium term.
On Monday, a survey showed that investor sentiment in the
euro zone hit its highest level in almost a decade in May,
improving more than expected thanks to a strong assessment of
the current economic situation and expectations that political
uncertainty will diminish.
There were also some earnings updates to drive price action
on Monday, some of which fell short of market expectations.
PostNL fell 7.9 percent after revenue growth at
the Dutch postal firm missed expectations in the first quarter,
while a weak first-quarter and a broker downgrade sent Italian
luxury goods makers Tod's down 8 percent.
The picture for earnings however remained strong. According
to Thomson Reuters data about half of the European companies
have reported results so far with 72 percent beating
expectations and 7 percent meeting them. First quarter earnings
growth is seen at a healthy 17.6 percent.
Shares in Akzo Nobel fell 2.4 percent after the
Dutch paint maker rejected a third takeover proposal from larger
U.S. rival PPG Industries. It said the 26.9 billion euros
proposal undervalued the company, faced antitrust risks and does
not address other concerns such as "cultural differences".
(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)