Europe shares steady at open; French PMI weighs on CAC

PARIS, June 23 Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:09am EDT

PARIS, June 23 (Reuters) - European shares were steady in early trade on Monday, with France's CAC 40 index dipping after data showed French business activity has slowed more than expected.

At 0704 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was flat at 1,394.81 points, while the CAC 40 was down 0.1 percent.

Data compiler Markit said its composite purchasing managers index (PMI) of activity in both the manufacturing and services sector fell to 48.0 from 49.3 in May, slipping further below the 50-point line denoting expansions in activity.

Bucking the trend, Alstom rose 3 percent after the French government secured an option to buy 20 percent of the firm from construction group Bouygues, in a deal clearing the way for the agreed sale of Alstom's energy business to General Electric.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Alistair Smout)