European shares fall as strong euro, China weakness hits earnings
* FTSEurofirst 300 falls 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.4 pct
* Euro strength knocks Akzo, SAP
* Remy Cointreau, Diageo report weak China demand
* Major European markets shut on Friday and Monday (Adds quotes, detail, updates prices)
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Thursday, weighed down by companies reporting earnings that were knocked by currency effects and weak demand from China, confirming a poor start to the earnings season in Europe.
Trade was subdued, with investors unwilling to place strong bets on moves in either direction before a four-day weekend for European markets.
Top faller on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was Dutch paints and chemicals firm AkzoNobel, down 6.4 percent after lower-than-expected earnings that it blamed on blamed adverse currency movements.
Also affected by the strong euro was German business software maker SAP, down 3.4 percent after it warned that it expected the damage from volatile exchange rates to worsen in the second quarter. Continuación...