June 8, 2018 / 7:48 AM / in 3 months

European shares fall in broad sell-off as ECB meeting looms

MILAN, June 8 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Friday in a broad-based sell-off ahead of a European Central Bank meeting next week that could signal plans to wind down a massive monetary stimulus that has been supporting equities in the region.

Losses among most sectors pushed the STOXX 600 index down 0.5 percent by 0724 GMT, as investors stayed cautious ahead of a series of big global events including a G7 summit they fear could unsettle markets.

The pan-European benchmark was on track for its third weekly loss in a row as expectations of tighter monetary conditions, renewed strength in the euro and growing political worries took their toll.

Standard Life Aberdeen was the leading faller on the STOXX, down 4 percent after Loyds Banking Group sold its stake in the company, while Ingenico rose 6.8 percent after a Barclays upgrade to overweight.

Deutsche Bank fell 1.6 percent. The bank downplayed the idea that a deal with rival Commerzbank could materialise soon, after Bloomberg reported that top shareholders had been consulted about a potential tie-up.

Commerzbank fell 2.1 percent.

Shares in BT Group fell 0.2 percent, outperforming the broader market, after news its chief executive Gavin Patterson would step down later this year. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Editing by Helen Reid)

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