European shares fall from 27-mth highs; ARM soars

* FTSEurofirst 300 falls 0.1 pct

* ARM up on reports of new Microsoft product

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click on [STXNEWS/EU]

By Brian Gorman

LONDON, Dec 22 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares edged lower on
Wednesday, having hit a 27-month high in the previous session,
with miners among the fallers as metals prices came off recent
peaks.

But ARM Holdings (ARM.L: ) rose 9 percent on media reports
that Microsoft (MSFT.O: ) is working on a new version of its core
Windows operating system for devices such as tablets to run on
processors designed by the British software company.

At 0944 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
European shares was down 0.1 percent at 1,144.98 points, after
rising 1.1 percent in the previous session to its highest close
since September 2008.

Trading was set to remain, thin, however, ahead of the
Christmas holidays.

“Investors will be happy to see the market close off the
year with a decent gain,” said Richard Jeffrey chief investment
officer at Cazenove Capital Management. “There’s a lot of macro
information today that may influence people’s thinking on 2011.”

Miners were lower as metals and other prices slipped back
from recent highs. Kazakhmys (KAZ.L: ), Lonmin (LMI.L: ), Vedanta
(VED.L: ) and Xstrata (XTA.L: ) fell between 0.8 and 1.3 percent.

Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) was flat;
Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI: ) and France’s CAC40 (.FCHI: ) both fell 0.1
percent.

“Technically, the indexes have been looking good, breaking
new ground,” said Colin McLean, managing director at SVM Asset
Management in Edinburgh. “But volumes are low. And the euro zone
debt issues will be a focus again in the new year.”

BSkyB RISES

BskyB (BSY.L: ) gained 2.1 percent, and touched the highest
since March 2004, as the prospects improve of regulatory
approval for News International’s (NWSA.O: ) bid to buy the pay-TV
operator. [ID:nLDE6BL0B8]

Hermes (HRMS.PA: ) rose 4.2 percent after LVMH (LVMH.PA: ), the
world’s biggest luxury goods group, raised its stake in the
handbag maker to above 20 percent. [ID:nLDE6BK1SI]

German sports goods producer Adidas (ADSGn.DE: ) fell 2
percent, after peer Nike (NKE.N: ) posted future orders data that
missed many analysts’ expectations.

In macroeconomics, Britain’s economy grew less quickly than
previously thought in the third quarter, and growth in the
second quarter was also revised down, official data showed on
Wednesday. [ID:nAHLLNE6BM]

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee retained its
three-way split at December’s policy meeting, but a growing
number of policymakers are worried about rising medium-term
inflation risks, central bank minutes showed on Wednesday.

“As we move through 2011, investors are going to have to
contemplate the possibility that interest rates will rise,”
Jeffrey said.

Later, investors’ attention will turn to U.S. economic data,
such as home sales and GDP growth.
(Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

European shares fall from 27-mth highs; ARM soars