European shares steady, Telecom Italia and ABB standout gainers
* FTSEurofirst flat despite energy shares falling
* Telecom Italia says America Movil may join Brazil unit bid
* ABB gains on $4 billion buy-back news
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - European equities steadied after choppy early trading on Tuesday as gains for shares in companies including Telecom Italia and ABB were offset by weaker energy shares following a sharp decline in crude oil prices.
Telecom Italia rose 2.9 percent after America Movil said it would hold talks with Brazil's Oi SA over joining its bid to buy Telecom Italia's Brazil unit, while ABB rose 1.5 percent after saying it will buy back $4 billion of shares.
However, gains were eclipsed by energy stocks dropping alongside oil prices. Brent crude eased for a fourth straight session, with prices holding near a 16-month trough below $100 a barrel, amid concerns of ample global supply and slower-than-expected growth in the world's top oil consumers.
"Pressure on oil prices is getting reflected in energy shares and the trend could continue in the near term," Christian Stocker, equity strategist at UniCredit in Munich, said.
"However, positive corporate news from time to time will continue to underpin the broader European stock market." Continuación...