Euro shares hover in negative territory
FALLS at medical group Fresenius and food group Danone weighed on European shares this morning, with traders expecting the near-term trend for European equities to remain a relatively negative one.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down by 0.1pc at 1,162.43 points by 0710 GMT, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was flat at 2,622.97 points.
German group Fresenius slumped 9.7pc to make it the worst performing FTSEurofirst 300 stock as its shares were hit by a move by the US federal government to propose rate cuts of up to 9.4pc in Medicare funding for dialysis centres.
Danone also fell 1.2pc after China launched a probe into five foreign infant milk companies for possible anti-trust violations, according to the Beijing Times.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index has traded in a relatively tight range since recovering from a 2013 low of 1,111.11 points on June 24 after it had fallen off a 5-1/2 year peak of 1,258.09 points reached in late May.
Andreas Clenow, hedge fund trader and principal of ACIES Asset Management, saw European equities making little gains in the near term.
"We're rangebound. The longer trend is still up, but the medium trend is still down for European equities," he said.