Gains slow on European markets

<p>European share gains have slowed after a strong performance in early trading.</p>

Gains seen on stock markets across Europe this morning (March 25th) have slowed during early afternoon trading as optimism regarding the Cyprus bailout gives way to concern over German economic growth forecasts.

The FTSEurofirst 300 had risen by as much as 0.9 per cent, but by 13:22 GMT the increase was down to 0.5 per cent, putting the index at 1,195.41 points, Reuters reports.

Among the biggest fallers were banks and financial institutions and the STOXX 600 Bank Index, which began the day in positive territory, fell amid concerns regarding economic outlook in Germany, the eurozone's largest economy.

The growth forecast for 2013 was reduced from 0.8 per cent to 0.3 per cent by the German government's economic advisers, who warned growth would be limited by weaker investment and foreign trade.

In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.69 per cent to 6,436.78 points at 14:22 GMT, having finished last week 0.1 per cent higher.

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