European shares slip from 4-week high, utilities weigh

lunes 3 de noviembre de 2014 07:36 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.4 percent

* Euro zone manufacturing survey hurts sentiment

* Snam leads European utilities index lower

By Atul Prakash and Blaise Robinson

LONDON/PARIS, Nov 3 (Reuters) - European equities retreated from a four-week high on Monday, with a survey showing sluggish euro zone factory growth hurting market sentiment and gas transport group Snam leading the utilities sector lower following a gas storage ruling.

The European utilities index fell 1.7 percent, the top sectoral decliner, on an 11 percent drop in Snam after a regulator ruling that cut the remuneration rate for the gas storage business in 2015. Enel and Terna fell 3.7 percent and 6.2 percent respectively.

At 1105 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.4 percent at 1,347.11 points after rising as much as 1,355.16, the highest since early October. The index rose 1.8 percent on Friday after the Bank of Japan surprised global markets by ramping up its stimulus spending.

European equities gave up early gains to turn negative after a business survey showed manufacturing activity in the euro zone expanded slightly more slowly than thought last month. Germany, the region's growth engine, recorded only tepid expansion and France and Italy contracted.

"It confirms the ongoing stagnation worry for Europe and the necessity for the European Central Bank to get on the front foot to do what it can to assist the malaise in Europe," said Lorne Baring, managing director of B Capital Wealth Management.   Continuación...