BG leads European shares lower after warns on production

Mon Sep 9, 2013 3:56am EDT

* FTSEurofirst 300, FTSE 100 both down 0.1 pct
    * BG leads faller after warning about lower production

    By Francesco Canepa
    LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on
Monday, snapping a three-day rise as heavyweight BG Group 
led a selloff in the energy sector after warning about
production.
    Shares in BG fell 3.9 percent, dragging the broader European
oil sector 0.7 percent lower, after the group said
delays at projects in Egypt and Norway would reduce its output
in 2014. 
    The stock knocked 6.8 points off Britain's FTSE 100,
which was 4.2 points or 0.1 percent lower at 6,543.16 points at
0723 GMT. BG was also the top faller on the pan-European
FTSEurofirst 300 index, which was 0.1 percent lower at
1,228.68 points.
    The FTSEurofirst 300 had risen 1.4 percent in the previous
three sessions, helped by expectations of continued monetary
support from the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal
Reserve.
    The ECB reiterated on Thursday it would keep interest rates
low to support the region's economy, while weaker-than-expected
U.S. jobs data on the following day raised speculation in equity
markets that the Fed might minimise or delay a cut in its
asset-purchase programme.  
    "Ironically, softer data led to a rally in equities 
overnight and to the extent that tapering comes later that's
certainly better for equity markets in the short run,"
Grant Lewis, head of research at Daiwa Capital Markets, said.
    "But if tapering is put off because growth is weaker,
ultimately that's not going to be good for equity markets."
    That view contrasted with the reaction on debt markets,
where Bund futures dipped on Monday after 13 of 18 primary
dealers in a Reuters poll taken after Friday's data said the Fed
would still decide to start reducing stimulus this month.
    Equity markets have struggled to make much headway in the
past month and trading has been choppy as investors positioned
for both a stimulus cut by the Fed and a possible U.S.-led
attack against Syria, which it is feared could cause a broader
conflict in the oil-rich Middle East.
    A U.S. Congressional debate on Syria could start as early as
this week, keeping traders on edge.    
    "There is still major geo-political concern in Middle East,
with an attack on Syria almost guaranteed now as the U.S.
garners more support," said Ronnie Chopra, a strategist at
TradeNext.
    He expected traders to start selling the FTSE 100 once it
reached 6,600 points.