European shares edge lower in choppy trading, drugmakers up
* FTSEurofirst index edges lower by midday
* Healthcare stocks top gainers for a second day
* Daimler, Skanska, Pearson go ex-dividend (ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon (see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development) (Adds details)
By Danilo Masoni
MILAN, April 7 (Reuters) - European equities edged lower by midday on Thursday, as gains in healthcare shares were eclipsed by some weaker stocks such as Daimler that traded without the attraction of their latest dividend payouts.
German carmaker Daimler fell more than 4 percent as its shares went ex-dividend. Among other companies losing the right to the next payout were Skanska, which fell 7 percent, making the stock the biggest faller on the FTSEurofirst, and Pearson, which slipped 5 percent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.27 percent by 1100 GMT, with investors reluctant to place strong bets. It was on track for its fourth straight week of losses.
"What markets really would need are more positive global economic data ... indicating a pick-up in economic activity, especially in the Eurozone and the U.S.," City of London Markets trader Markus Huber said.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said in the central bank's annual report on Thursday that the future of the global economy remained uncertain and there were questions about Europe's ability to weather new shocks. Continuación...