European shares fall back as Ukraine keeps investors on edge

martes 18 de marzo de 2014 04:58 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 dips 0.4 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.5 pct

* Sanctions against Russia so far seen as 'soft'

* Cairn Energy sags on loss, halted buy-back programme

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, March 18 (Reuters) - European stocks fell in early trade on Tuesday, trimming the previous session's gains as tensions in Ukraine following Sunday's referendum in Crimea kept investors on edge.

Shares in truck maker Scania featured among the top losers, falling 3.2 percent after board members responsible for assessing a takeover bid by Volkswagen for the outstanding shares said the offer was too low and recommended that shareholders reject it.

At 0840 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.4 percent at 1,292.06 points, after gaining 1 percent on Monday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia would move forward with procedures to annex Ukraine's Crimean region, defying Western sanctions.

"We don't know the next stage, but as long as there is continued Western opposition to what has happened, it's difficult to see any near-term conclusion," Ioan Smith, managing director at KCG, said.   Continuación...