* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.4 pct
* BG cuts production estimates on Egypt, Norway delays
* Boygues down as Soc Gen flags profit hit from Syria war
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Sept 9 European shares fell on Monday as
disruptions to business in the Middle East hurt oil firm BG
Group and the threat of a spike in crude prices fuelled
profit taking on construction firm Bouygues.
Shares in BG fell 3.9 percent after the group said political
and social instability in Egypt was delaying projects and Norway
said it would reduce its oil output in 2014.
The stock was the biggest faller on the pan-European
FTSEurofirst 300 index, which was 0.3 percent lower at
1,225.96 points at 0958 GMT. The euro zone Euro STOXX 50
was down 0.4 percent at 2,793.55 points.
"It's disappointing in terms of delivery for next year and
there are some caveats with regards to the 2015 production, but
for reasons that shouldn't be a surprise," said Ivor Pether,
senior fund manager at Royal London Asset Management, who owns
the stock in his UK Equity Fund.
"The offset (of the disruptions in the Middle East) is the
impact on oil prices, which is a net benefit."
Oil prices have risen around 7 percent since late
July as expectations of U.S.-led military action against Syria
stoked concerns about a broader conflict in the Middle East,
which would disrupt oil supply.
Societe Generale cited the impact of higher energy costs on
profits as the main reason to downgrade French conglomerate
Bouygues to "sell" from "hold", sending the stock down 2.5
percent after a 30 percent rise since late June.
Equity market trading has been choppy over the past month as
investors positioned for both a possible attack against Syria
and a stimulus cut by the Federal Reserve.
The FTSEurofirst 300, however, is still up 6.4 percent since
the start of July, more than twice as much as the U.S. S&P 500
, as improving data in Europe made the region's valuations
more attractive to investors.
Europe equity funds extended their longest inflows streak
since 2006 in the seven days to last Wednesday, moving against
outflows for U.S. and emerging market equity funds, EPFR data
"It's a realisation that tail risks are gone and the data is
better," Grant Lewis, head of research at Daiwa Capital Markets,
"Whether you get a continuation of equity market strength,
I'm not sure. There are still significant challenges in the
Concerns centre on Italy where parliamentarians meet to
consider expelling former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi after
his conviction for tax fraud, a decision that could shatter the
fragile ruling coalition and plunge the country into fresh