Falls at Fresenius, Danone weigh on Europe shares

LONDON, July 2 Tue Jul 2, 2013 3:17am EDT

LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - Falls at medical group Fresenius and food group Danone weighed on European shares on Tuesday, with traders expecting the near-term trend for European equities to remain a relatively negative one.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down by 0.1 percent at 1,162.43 points by 0710 GMT, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was flat at 2,622.97 points.

German group Fresenius slumped 9.7 percent to make it the worst performing FTSEurofirst 300 stock as its shares were hit by a move by the U.S. federal government to propose rate cuts of up to 9.4 percent in Medicare funding for dialysis centres.

Danone also fell 1.2 percent after China launched a probe into five foreign infant milk companies for possible anti-trust violations, according to the Beijing Times.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index has traded in a relatively tight range since recovering from a 2013 low of 1,111.11 points on June 24 after it had fallen off a 5-1/2 year peak of 1,258.09 points reached in late May.

Andreas Clenow, hedge fund trader and principal of ACIES Asset Management, saw European equities making little gains in the near term.

"We're rangebound. The longer trend is still up, but the medium trend is still down for European equities," he said. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, editing by Atul Prakash)

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