European shares edge lower after manufacturing data
* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index down 0.2 percent
* Nexans, Sainsbury drop after warning on sales outlook
* Spanish stocks outperform after strong manufacturing data
By Atul Prakash and Blaise Robinson
LONDON/PARIS, Oct 1 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Wednesday, following mixed data on manufacturing and sales warnings from J Sainsbury and Nexans that fuelled worries over European corporate results.
At 1021 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.2 percent at 1,377.88 points after data showed German manufacturing activity shrank for the first time in 15 months in September. Overall, manufacturing growth in the euro zone slowed further as new orders contracted for the first time in over a year.
Barclays France director Franklin Pichard said the weak data, coupled with Tuesday's figures showing a slowdown in euro zone inflation, will add pressure on the European Central Bank.
"Once again, the central bank will have to convince investors that it has the firepower to stave off deflation risks," he said. "We'll wait for Thursday's ECB meeting before buying the market."
French cable maker Nexans tumbled 8.5 percent after saying full-year revenue would be flat, while British retailer J Sainsbury dropped 5.9 percent after cutting its full-year sales target and saying its strategic review would include future dividend policy, while Continuación...