European shares edge lower ahead of Fed minutes

miércoles 19 de noviembre de 2014 12:24 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 index falls 0.2 pct

* Miners slip, track fall in iron ore prices

* Swiss SMI index touched 9,000 mark

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower from a seven-week high late on Wednesday, tracking a fall in U.S. equities, with investors trading cautiously ahead of minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve policy meeting.

The market also came under pressure from a sharp decline in mining shares after China's iron ore futures dropped nearly 5 percent to a record low. That also pushed down spot prices, which have slumped to their weakest in more than five years on a supply glut.

The STOXX Europe Basic Resources index fell 1.7 percent, the worst sectoral performer in Europe, while Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton shed 2.1 percent and 2.3 percent respectively.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 share index was down 0.2 percent at 1604 GMT, after climbing to a seven-week high earlier in the session with the help of some positive broker upgrades. But gains evaporated later as focus shifted to the Fed minutes. U.S. stocks fell 0.2 to 0.9 percent.

"There are still some concerns that the language from the Fed might indicate that the rates will start rising sooner than expected," Lorne Baring, managing director of B Capital Wealth Management, said.   Continuación...