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PARIS, Feb 16 (Reuters) - European stocks were steady in early trading on Monday, taking a breather following last week's sharp gains, as investors awaited the euro zone finance ministers' meeting in Brussels to see if common ground would be found with Greece's new government.
At 0806 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.05 percent at 1,501.65 points, retreating from a seven-year high hit on Friday.
On Sunday, Greece said it was confident of reaching agreement in negotiations with its euro zone partners but reiterated it would not accept harsh austerity strings in any debt pact.
Shares in Switzerland's Actelion featured among the biggest losers, down 3.9 percent, after warning that a surging franc following the Swiss central bank's removal of a cap on the currency against the euro will weigh on results. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Atul Prakash)