Miners lead European shares lower; Philips falls

* FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) falls 0.4 pct

* Philips falls after voicing caution on sales growth

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

By Brian Gorman

LONDON, Oct 18 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares fell on Monday,
with miners lower on weaker metals prices and Philips (PHG.AS: )
slipping after it sounded caution on sales growth.

At 0820 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
European shares was 0.4 percent lower at 1,081.26 points, after
rising 1.4 percent last week. The benchmark is up more than 67
percent from its lifetime low of March, 2009, as major economies
have emerged from recession, helped by fiscal stimulus.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to undertake further
monetary easing.

“There’s a growing suspicion that it’s time to take profits.
You’ve had gilts, gold and equities rising all at the same time
and that’s not sustainable. One of them has to give,” said
Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment
Management.

“And it will give as we go through to the announcement of
quantitative easing. The Americans will probably be more
aggressive with their currency.”

Miners fell as metals prices slipped, with the dollar
continuing to recover from a 10-month low hit on Friday. The
sector was also hit by a downbeat note from HSBC, which cut
several ratings and target prices.

“The market loves copper, but it is increasingly a momentum
trade and the upside is compressing,” HSBC said.

Antofagasta (ANTO.L: ), Lonmin (LMI.L: ), Vedanta (VED.L: ) and
Xstrata (XTA.L: ) fell between 2.5 and 4 percent.

BHP Billiton (BLT.L: ) and Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) fell 2.4 and 2.7
percent, respectively, after scrapping their proposed $116
billion iron-ore joint venture as expected, caving in to
opposition from regulators, steelmakers and major investors 16
months after unveiling the plan.

Philips Electronics fell 4 percent after saying it was
cautious about sales growth as consumer confidence remained
fragile, although its third-quarter operating profit beat
forecasts on cost cuts. [ID:nLDE69H087]

Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ), Germany’s DAX
(.GDAXI: ) and France’s CAC40 (.FCHI: ) fell between 0.4 and 0.7
percent.

BLUEBAY SOARS ON TAKEOVER

BlueBay Asset Management (BBAY.L: ) surged more than 30
percent after Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: ) said it would buy the
fund manager for around 963 million pounds ($1.5 billion), as
part of the Canadian group’s plans to become a top 10 global
wealth manager.

Henderson (HGGH.L: ) and Ashmore (ASHM.L: ), other British
midcap fund mangers, rose 2 and 2.4 percent respectively.

Air France rose 2.8 percent after Citigroup upgraded it to
“buy” from “hold”.

Later in the session, investors will look at results from
banking bellwether Citigroup (C.N: ), to see if the positive trend
of third-quarter U.S. earnings season continues.

“The third-quarter earnings will be of comfort, but it will
be rear-view mirror comfort,” said Urquhart Stewart. “They won’t
provide much confidence about what will happen next. The growth
is going to be slower.”
(Editing by Louise Heavens)

Miners lead European shares lower; Philips falls