European shares slightly down ahead of election results

viernes 23 de mayo de 2014 04:20 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.1 percent

* Caution ahead of Ukraine, EU election results

* Smiths Group slips, warns on profit in detection unit

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Friday, moving further away from last week's six-year highs with investors trading cautiously ahead of European and Ukrainian election results.

At 0755 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,364.75 points after closing 0.1 percent higher in the previous session. The index climbed to 1,372.81 on May 15, its highest since 2008.

The EU's marathon parliamentary election was in focus. Polling kicked off on Thursday when Britain and the Netherlands voted, with right-wing, anti-EU parties expected to attract a surge of protest votes in many countries.

Britain's anti-EU UKIP party made strong gains in local elections, according to early results on Friday, while a Dutch exit poll for the EU elections indicated that the anti-Islam, Eurosceptic Freedom Party had fallen well short of its goal of topping the poll.

Analysts said there were concerns the EU elections could destabilise some euro zone governments at home. In Italy, for example, a poor result for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's party could weaken his drive for swift reforms that he promised when he took power.   Continuación...