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LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - Credit Suisse downgraded Spanish equities to 'underperform' on Friday recommending investors lock in profits as strong economic data and corporate earnings momentum moderate.
Spain's blue-chip stocks are the top performers across major European country indices this year, up 16.1 percent against a 9.1 percent gain for the pan-European STOXX 600 .
"Economic fundamentals remain robust but are not accelerating away from peers at the same pace" Credit Suisse head of European strategy Pierre Bose said.
"Both sectors and the 'national champion' stocks within those sectors have performed strongly, in that light we think clients can afford to take profits on Spanish equities after strong performance year to date."
The bank also has an underperform view on Italian equities, together pointing to a preference for stocks in core markets over the periphery after a strong rally in the latter over the past weeks.
Italy's FTSE MIB is up 12.5 percent year-to-date.
Credit Suisse also upgraded Norway to "outperform", citing a positive view on the energy sector along with recent underperformance, and earnings revisions which have kept pace with other countries. (Reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)