LONDON, April 30 European shares lost ground on
Wednesday after sharp gains in the previous session as tensions
in Ukraine continued to dog sentiment, though French
conglomerate Alstom bucked the weak market trend.
Alstom jumped 8 percent after saying it would
review a binding offer from General Electric for its
energy business by the end of May and left the door open for a
competing bid from Germany's Siemens.
Shares in Alstom resumed trading Wednesday having been
suspended since late last week.
According to data from Markit, 7.1 percent of Alstom shares
are out on loan, making it one of the most shorted stocks on the
Paris bourse. Short sellers have been unable to close their
positions while the stock was suspended.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.1 percent at
1,351.80 points by 0713 GMT, having jumped 1.2 percent on
Investors were reluctant to place big bets ahead of the
conclusion of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, which should
give insight on the pace of its scaling back of stimulus,
against a backdrop of persistent concerns surrounding Ukraine.
"The Fed meeting should be fairly predictable, and although
sanctions against Russia earlier this week were less harsh than
expected, (the situation in Ukraine) will continue to be in the
back of the minds of investors looking to take long positions,"
Sanlam Securities head of trading Mark Ward said.
(Reporting by Tricia Wright, additional reporting by Blaise
Robinson. Editing by Francesco Canepa)