European shares inch up, led by Metro
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 pct; Metro gains 4.1 pct
* Energy shares fall as Brent hits $45 a barrel
* Morrisons stock rallies as CEO steps down
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Jan 13 (Reuters) - European stocks inched up in early trade on Tuesday, with Germany's Metro rallying after the retailer reported strong Christmas sales at some of its core units.
Shares in Metro, Europe's fourth-biggest retailer, gained 4.1 percent as the group said it saw a recovery gaining pace at three of its four businesses in the important Christmas quarter.
However, the relentless drop in oil prices added to worries over the outlook for corporate profits in the energy sector.
Total was down 1.9 percent and Royal Dutch Shell down 1.5 percent as Brent futures tumbled to $45.43 a barrel, down 4.2 percent despite China reporting record crude imports. Oil prices have plunged almost 60 percent since June last year.
The United Arab Emirates' oil minister, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, on Tuesday stood by OPEC's decision in November not to cut output to tackle a glut in the market. Continuación...