LONDON Dec 10 European shares edged lower in early trading on Tuesday, with technical charts pointing to consolidation on main indexes and with investors, faced with an uncertain policy and economic outlook, locking in profits into the year-end.
At 0807 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.2 percent at 1,270.26 points, while the euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.2 percent to 2,984.05 points
The STOXX 50 index remained stuck within its 50-day and 100-day moving averages, with a recent three-week low of 2,940 seen supporting the index.
"The index recently tested and confirmed the long-term resistance zone 3,050-3,100. From a short-term perspective, the index concluded its June uptrend with a profit-taking signal and entered a consolidation, which should continue in the coming days," Sophia Wurm, technical analyst at Commerzbank, said.
Uncertainty over how soon the U.S. Federal Reserve will start to scale back its equity-friendly bond purchases was also expected to keep investors in a cautious mood.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who is a voting member on the Fed's policymaking committee this year, said after the European market close on Monday that the U.S. central bank could slightly reduce its monthly bond purchases this month in reaction to signs of an improved labor market.
Vopak fell 5.5 percent to the bottom of the FTSEurofirst 300 index after presenting a more cautious outlook for the coming years.