European shares held back by cement makers as FX hits results
* FTSEurofirst 300 flat; Portugal's PSI down 2.1 pct
* Cement makers lead declines as forex hits results
* Total's stock hit by worries over Russia investment
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Cement makers lagged European equity indexes on Wednesday, after Switzerland's Holcim and Germany's HeidelbergCement reported disappointing results that they blamed on weak emerging-market currencies.
Their shares fell 4.7 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, leaving the STOXX Europe 600 down 1 percent. The sector was the worst performer in Europe.
French electrical-gear maker Schneider Electric, down 2 percent, also blamed the depreciation of several currencies against the euro for disappointing sales growth in the first half of the year.
Companies in the STOXX Europe 600 that have reported quarterly results so far have seen their sales drop by an average 1 percent, StarMine data showed.
While stronger currencies in developed Europe played a role in the decline, some strategists were starting to worry about weaker demand in Europe, which is struggling with low growth and inflation. Continuación...