Tesco leads European shares lower after weak update

LONDON Wed Oct 2, 2013 3:18am EDT

LONDON Oct 2 (Reuters) - European stocks edged lower on Wednesday, led by British supermarket Tesco after a weak trading update and by gold miners after downgrades by Citigroup.

A focus of the day was the fate of Italy's government. If Prime Minister Enrico Letta's administration survives, investors may pour fresh money into shares, which recorded their biggest gain in three weeks on Tuesday.

Other factors on trades mind included the U.S. government shutdown and a European Central Bank policy meeting.

Shares in Tesco fell 2.2 percent after Britain's biggest grocer posted flat quarterly sales in its home market despite 1 billion pounds ($1.62 billion) of investment.

It was the top faller of the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which was down 0.4 percent at 1,251.27 points.

Precious metals miners Fresnillo and Randgold were also heavy fallers, down 1.8 percent each, after Citigroup downgraded both stocks to "sell" on expectations of falling gold prices.

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