* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.4 pct
* Tenaris, Vallourec pummelled by U.S. import tariff ruling
* Carlsberg, Lafarge shrug off EM hit with strong updates
By Joshua Franklin
LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Wednesday, led by Italy’s Tenaris as a U.S. tariff ruling hurt the region’s steel pipe industry, although buoyant updates from Carlsberg and Lafarge helped limit market losses.
Seamless steel tube maker Tenaris fell 5.5 percent to the bottom of the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index after U.S. trade authorities decided not to impose tariffs on South Korean imports of oil and gas pipe. French peer Vallourec fell 5 percent.
Tenaris and Vallourec, which respectively generate 49 percent and 29 percent of their sales in North America, had signed a petition complaining that manufacturers in South Korea and other countries were selling pipe in the United States at unfairly low prices.
“Many people in the market were thinking that the key for improving the pricing power would be some reduction in the imports coming from South Korea,” said Julien Laurent, energy equity analyst at Natixis.
“I assume that the consensus will have to downgrade its estimates (of future earnings per share) a bit. I would say for Tenaris it would be more than 5 percent.”
At 1100 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.3 percent at 1,333.22 points, while the euro zone Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.4 percent at 3105.63 points.
Both indexes were retreating from overbought territory based on their seven-day Relative Strength Index, a momentum indicator, after rising for eight of the last 10 sessions.
The FTSEurofirst 300 has gained roughly 5 percent over the past two weeks, boosted in part by relatively good results in the current earnings season.
So far, 58 percent of companies have reported in-line or better-than-expected profits, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.
Shares in Carlsberg surged 6.4 percent as the world’s fourth largest brewer raised its dividend by a third thanks to growth in western Europe and Asia offsetting sluggish sales in Russia, where the economy is slowing.
Lafarge, which derives 58 percent of its sales from emerging markets, confirmed its targets despite a hit from volatile currencies in the fourth quarter, betting on continued growth in emerging markets and a recovery in North America and Europe. Its shares rose 3.1 percent.
Earlier this year, sharp fluctuations in emerging market currencies and fears of a slowdown in their economies triggered a sharp selloff in European shares with an EM exposure.
The impact of the rout “was not as bad as some people feared, which makes it positive,” Mike Reuter, a broker at Tradition, said.
Reuter, however, cautioned that political uncertainty in countries such as Ukraine meant risks remained elevated.
“I wouldn’t extrapolate from a couple of companies that beat (with their) results that the whole area is improving. There are still significant (forex) risks.”
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