* FTSEurofirst 300 falls 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.4 pct
* Telecom Italia falls on uncertainty over unit spin-off
* Europe equities still attractively valued, says UBP
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, July 16 European shares edged down on
Tuesday, slipping back after recovering from 2013 lows over the
last two weeks, with Telecom Italia lagging due to
uncertainty over a spinoff of a division.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down by
0.2 percent at 1,197.30 points in early session trading, while
the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index
declined by 0.4 percent to 2,676.31 points.
Telecom Italia was the worst performer on the FTSEurofirst,
down 3.1 percent due to uncertainty over plans to spin off its
fixed line network, traders said, after the company said it
wanted favourable regulatory conditions before going ahead with
any such deal.
The FTSEurofirst 300, which has risen around 6 percent since
the start of 2013, had hit a 5-year high in late May of 1,258.09
It then fell to a 2013 low of 1,111.11 points in late June
on expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve would scale back
economic stimulus measures but has since recovered as central
banks have sought to reassure that they will continue to support
the global economy.
Terry Torrison, managing director at Monaco-based McLaren
Securities, said investors might now look to book gains though
the longer-term trend for European equities remained positive.
Union Bancaire Privee (UBP) fund manager Scott Meech said
European equities had attractive valuations, citing supermarket
chains Carrefour and Dia and Dutch
electronics group Philips among his favoured picks.
Companies in the pan-European STOXX 600 index,
which closed up 0.4 percent, are forecast to trade on an average
price to earnings-per-share (P/E) ratio of 12.4 times for the
next 12 months, according to the Thomson Reuters StarMine
"smartestimate" which favours top-rated analysts.
This represents a discount to a similar P/E ratio of 14.5
times for the U.S S&P 500 index, according to StarMine.