* FTSEurofirst 300, Euro STOXX 50 each down 0.2 pct
* EuroSTOXX 50 technical support at 3,060, then
* CS targets 3,400 on EuroSTOXX 50 by end-2014
By Toni Vorobyova
LONDON, Dec 3 European stocks edged down to
one-week lows on Tuesday, led by miners, after strong U.S. data
heightened concern the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus
sooner rather than later.
Miners such as Antofagasta, down 2.8 percent,
declined as copper prices fell, following a report on Monday
that U.S. factory activity reached a 2 1/2-year high last month.
More production by factories generally means more demand for
metals. Now, though, it might mean the Fed will reduce its bond
purchases as soon as December or January, which in turn could
stunt the economic recovery.
Fresnillo and Randgold were also among the
top fallers in Europe, off 0.7 and 1.3 percent respectively.
"The macro figures in U.S. were good and this triggered the
interest of market participants, saying that if the figures are
good the Fed will taper sooner rather than later ... As we
don't have corporate earnings to lead the sentiment, that's why
the market is relatively lower," said Stephane Ekolo, strategist
at Market Securities.
Signalling a more cautious mood, the VSTOXX index of implied
volatility on euro zone blue chips rose 0.7 percent. That took
its gains for three sessions to 12.5 percent, in the biggest
such jump in eight weeks.
The FTSEurofirst 300 slipped 0.2 percent at 1,298.69 points
by 0836 GMT, testing support around the 10-day moving average,
which had acted as a floor the previous session. The
EuroSTOXX 50 index of euro zone blue chips also fell 0.2
percent, to 3,070.84 points, touching one-week lows.
Technical and fundamental analysts remained upbeat about the
outlook for European equities over the longer term.
"We have a brilliant rally and now we have a little bit of a
slowdown, a normal consolidation," said Petra Kerssenbrock,
technical analyst at Commerzbank. "The next short-term support
(on EuroSTOXX 50) is at 3,060 and then we have a massive support
around 3,000-3,015, but I don't expect it to go that far down."
From the fundamental side, analysts at Citi and Credit
Suisse, among others, highlighted opportunities among European
equities in their 2014 outlooks. The latter forecast that the
EuroSTOXX 50 would finish next year at 3,600 points.