European shares inch up, U.S. shutdown jangles nerves

LONDON Tue Oct 1, 2013 3:17am EDT

LONDON Oct 1 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher in early trading on Tuesday but stayed near a three-week low hit on Monday, with nervous investors looking for signs a shutdown of the U.S. government would be resolved soon.

The first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years put up to 1 million workers on unpaid leave from midnight, threatening to hamper an economic recovery that had been growing in strength.

But some analysts were optimistic the two sides would get back to the table soon.

"The U.S. shutdown is a central point for the markets, but as long as the hope for just a temporary shutdown exists, it will not be a strong burden for equities," Christian Stocker, equity strategist at UniCredit in Munich, said.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.2 percent at 1,249.20 points.

Unilever fell 4 percent, the top FTSEurofirst 300 decliner, after warning on Monday that a slowdown in its emerging markets accelerated.