European shares dip briefly on U.S. budget jitters

LONDON Wed Dec 5, 2012 11:20am EST

LONDON Dec 5 (Reuters) - European shares briefly dipped into the red on Wednesday, with traders citing further signs of a stalemate in talks to avert the U.S. "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index was trading flat at 1,121.58 points by 1609 GMT after falling to a low of 1,120.17 and hitting a high of 1,126.26 earlier in the session, while on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial average shed 0.1 percent.

The Nasdaq Composite Index was 0.9 percent lower, pressured by an unexpected decline of nearly 4 percent in shares of Apple.

Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday said talks with President Barack Obama to resolve the fiscal cliff are deadlocked, and they demanded a meeting with the president to move the negotiations forward.

"There's no agreement. That is going to filter through, cause negative sentiment and a bit of selling," Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads, said.