European shares steady early ahead of services PMIs

PARIS Mon Jan 6, 2014 3:15am EST

PARIS Jan 6 (Reuters) - European shares steadied in early trade on Monday, with investors looking ahead to data on the region's services sector after comparable numbers from China pointed to a sharp slowdown in growth there.

The data due includes Germany's services PMI, seen at 54, and France's services PMI, seen at 47.4.

At 0809 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,311.50 points, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.1 percent at 3,072.56 points.

China's HSBC/Markit Economics services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dropped to 50.9 in December, its lowest since August 2011, from 52.5 in November, adding to data showing the world's second-biggest economy lost steam in late 2013.

Shares in Telecom Italia fell 1.3 percent after Telefonica denied being part of a vehicle studying a potential joint offer for Brazilian wireless operator TIM Brasil, a unit of the Italian group.

Telefonica was flat.

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