Ericsson leads Europe shares lower with focus on PMIs

LONDON, April 23 Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:12am EDT

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Wednesday after strong gains in the previous session, pegged back following an earnings miss from Ericsson and weaker-than-expected French data.

Shares in the Swedish mobile telecom equipment maker fell 4.5 percent, the top FTSEurofirst 300 faller, after missing first-quarter sales and profit forecasts, hit by weak trading in North America.

By 0705 GMT the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.1 percent at 1,345.53, steadying after surging 1.3 percent in the previous session.

Investors were focussed on euro zone purchasing managing index (PMI) data after China's flash factory activity numbers for April showed a stabilisation in the economy.

France's CAC 40 index underperformed, down 0.2 percent, after PMI data for the country showed waning momentum in its fragile economic recovery.

France's manufacturing and services figures came in slightly below expectations, albeit still in expansion territory, with German figures due out at 0730 GMT and composite euro zone figures due at 0800 GMT.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Blaise Robinson)