European shares drift lower, Alstom outperforms
LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - European shares lost ground on Wednesday after sharp gains in the previous session as tensions in Ukraine continued to dog sentiment, though French conglomerate Alstom bucked the weak market trend.
Alstom jumped 8 percent after saying it would review a binding offer from General Electric for its energy business by the end of May and left the door open for a competing bid from Germany's Siemens.
Shares in Alstom resumed trading Wednesday having been suspended since late last week.
According to data from Markit, 7.1 percent of Alstom shares are out on loan, making it one of the most shorted stocks on the Paris bourse. Short sellers have been unable to close their positions while the stock was suspended.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.1 percent at 1,351.80 points by 0713 GMT, having jumped 1.2 percent on Tuesday.
Investors were reluctant to place big bets ahead of the conclusion of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, which should give insight on the pace of its scaling back of stimulus, against a backdrop of persistent concerns surrounding Ukraine.
"The Fed meeting should be fairly predictable, and although sanctions against Russia earlier this week were less harsh than expected, (the situation in Ukraine) will continue to be in the back of the minds of investors looking to take long positions," Sanlam Securities head of trading Mark Ward said. (Reporting by Tricia Wright, additional reporting by Blaise Robinson. Editing by Francesco Canepa)
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