* Fall in GDF Suez weighs on France's CAC equity index
* Traders cite Iraq violence as reason for equity pullback
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.7 pct, CAC down 0.8 pct
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, June 25 European shares fell on
Wednesday, led lower by a drop in France's CAC index,
with traders citing fears that violence in Iraq will escalate
further as a cue for investors to cash in on last month's equity
The pullback in Europe, where stock markets such as the
German DAX had hit record highs earlier this month,
mirrored a decline in U.S. and Asian stocks.
"Investors are still concerned about American foreign policy
and what will be the next step in terms of any military
intervention as opposed to diplomacy in the Middle East region,"
said Lorne Baring, managing director at asset management firm B
Although the price of oil edged down, traders said
events in Iraq remained worrying enough to justify trimming back
equity positions in case the situation deteriorated.
Militants attacked one of Iraq's largest air bases on
Wednesday as the first U.S. teams arrived to assess the Iraqi
security forces and decide how to help counter a mounting Sunni
GDF SUEZ WEIGHS ON FRENCH MARKET
France's CAC index fell 0.8 percent, underperforming
declines of 0.5 percent on the German DAX and on the euro zone's
blue-chip Euro STOXX 50.
The Paris market was pegged back by a 2.6 percent drop in
utility GDF Suez after the French state sold a 3.1
percent stake in the company at a price of 20.18 euros per
share, the bottom of a range for the share placement set by
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had
hit a 6-1/2 year high of 1,399.62 points last week, was down by
0.7 percent at 1,377.63 points.
"We're still in reasonable shape, but we were looking a bit
toppy on the upside, and there are one or two jitters around,"
said XBZ Ltd's European equity options broker Mike Turner.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today's European research round-up
(Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson and Atul Prakash;
Editing by Catherine Evans)