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STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Fund outflows slow in Q3 thanks to ECB-EPFR

Outflows from European equities funds slowed sharply in the third quarter thanks to steps from the ECB to reassure investors and tacke the euro zone crisis, data from EPFR shows.

Funds focused on Western Europe saw net outflows of just $662 million in the third quarter, compared to $22.6 billion in the first half of the year. The quarter featured three straight weeks of inflows - the longest positive run in nearly a year.

The recent improvement in investor sentiment, however, was not enough to redress the gloomy start to the year and outflows for the first nine months stood at $23.3 billion - more than four times as much as the $5.1 billion in the same period of 2011.

The EuroSTOXX 50 index of euro zone blue chips surged 8.4 percent in July-September, its best quarter in three years .

Reuters messaging rm://antonina.vorobyova.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net

Keywords: MARKETS EUROPE STOCKSNEWS