* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.1 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.3 pct
* Tenaris, Vallourec pummelled by U.S. imports tariff report
* Carlsberg, Lafarge shrug off EM hit with strong updates
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Feb 19 European shares edged lower on
Wednesday, led by Italy's Tenaris, as investors took
profits on overbought indexes, although buoyant updates from
Carlsberg and Lafarge helped limit market losses.
Seamless steel tube makers Tenaris fell 5.5
percent to the bottom of the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300
index, with traders citing a U.S. anti-dumping ruling
hitting the sector. French peer Vallourec fell 5
According to a Bloomberg report, the U.S. Commerce
Department preliminarily set tariffs on imports of steel pipes
from eight countries, though not including South Korea, one of
the biggest exporters of tubes to the United States.
"There was expectation that South Korea would be included,
which would have been good news," a Paris-based trader said.
At 0810 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European
shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,335.68 points, while the euro
zone Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.3 percent at
Both indexes were retreating from overbought territory based
on their seven-day Relative Strength Index, a momentum
indicator, after rising for eight of the last 10 sessions.
The FTSEurofirst 300 gained roughly 5 percent over the past
two weeks, boosted in part by relatively good results in the
current earnings season.
So far, 58 percent of companies have reported in-line or
better-than-expected profits, according to Thomson Reuters
Shares in Carlsberg surged 6.6 percent as the
world's fourth largest brewer raised its dividend by a third
thanks to growth in western Europe and Asia offsetting sluggish
sales in Russia, where the economy is slowing.
Lafarge, which derives 58 percent of its sales
from emerging markets, confirmed its targets despite a hit from
volatile currencies in the fourth quarter, betting on continued
growth in emerging markets and a recovery in North America and
Europe. Its shares rose 3.1 percent.
Earlier this year, sharp fluctuations in emerging market
currencies and fears of a slowdown in their economies triggered
a sharp selloff in European shares with an EM exposure.
"It was not as bad as some people feared, which makes it
positive," Mike Reuter, a broker at Tradition, said.
Reuter, however, cautioned that political uncertainty in
countries such as the Ukraine meant risks remained elevated.
"I wouldn't extrapolate from a couple of companies that beat
(with their) results that the whole area is improving. There are
still significant (forex) risks."
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