* Electrolux slumps after deal challenged in U.S.
* German utilities boosted as coal levy plan scrapped
* BP rises after 2010 oil spill settlement
* Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
* Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Thursday under pressure from concerns over Greece’s debt crisis and with a rebound in the euro weighing on exporters that typically benefit from the single currency’s weakness.
Adding to the downward pressure, Sweden’s Electrolux fell after a U.S. legal challenge to a planned takeover.
Electrolux, which owns the Frigidaire, Kenmore and Tappan brands, fell about 10 percent after the United States filed a lawsuit to prevent it from buying General Electric’s appliance business.
However, German utility stocks bucked the trend after plans for a coal levy were scrapped. RWE climbed 6 percent, while rival E.ON advanced 3.3 percent.
Any decision to go ahead with the plans would have threatened the survival of 17 out of 20 of RWE’s brown coal-fired power stations and two out of three brown coal mines, RWE had said during months of wrangling.
Oil major BP also rose 4 percent after settling U.S. 2010 oil spill claims.
The STOXX Europe 600 Utility Index advanced 1.3 percent, outstripping the broader, pan-European STOXX 600 index , which was down 0.1 percent.
“Regulation has weighed on the utility stocks of late, so the decision in Germany should help them recover some of the ground they have lost,” Cavendish Asset Management European equities fund manager, Caroline Vincent, said.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.1 percent while the euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index declined 0.6 percent.
Traders said uncertainty over Greece meant many investors were unwilling to buy. Greece defaulted on a loan to the International Monetary Fund this week and faces a referendum on Sunday that may decide its future in the euro zone.
Another reason for the pullback was a rebound in the euro, which rose against the U.S. dollar after weaker-than-expected U.S. employment data.
The euro’s move weighed on European car stocks, which fell 1.1 percent, since a weak euro typically helps European automakers export more of their goods overseas.
Some analysts said the longer-term outlook for European equities remained positive, given the backdrop of economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB).
“Ongoing Greece uncertainty is creating shorter-term headwind but when we focus on the fundamentals we believe they are still supportive for European equities,” HSBC strategist, Robert Parkes, said.
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Liisa Tuhkanen and Lionel Laurent; Editing by Louise Ireland)