* STOXX down 0.2 pct, weekly loss of 0.5 percent
* Insurers, oil lead losses
* Technology stocks Infineon, United Internet, shine
* Aegon falls on lower Solvency 2 ratio
(Recasts, updates prices)
By Danilo Masoni and Helen Reid
LONDON/MILAN, March 24 European shares fell
slightly on Friday, with eyes on a vote on U.S. President Donald
Trump's healthcare bill, while technology companies
The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.2 percent,
and closed the week 0.5 percent lower, while Britain's FTSE 100
fell 0.1 percent.
Traders said markets could react negatively if the bill was
rejected, although worries had somewhat eased.
"An eventual failure could let down investors," said LCG
analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya. "Yet it is worth noting that the
major market focus is still on the fiscal plans and the Trump
administration could carry on with its expansive fiscal plans
regardless of a disappointment on the healthcare bill."
As caution ahead of the vote prevailed, data on Friday
showing that euro zone businesses grew at their fastest pace in
nearly six years in the first quarter had little impact on
The oil and gas sector index fell 1 percent, the
biggest sectoral faller, tracking crude prices lower. Insurers
also fell 0.6 percent.
Aegon was the top European faller, down 5.2
percent after the Dutch insurer reduced its Solvency 2 ratio,
the key cash buffer required of insurers, to 135 percent from
141 percent. This was as a result of a reclassification of
expense inflation risk.
"This may sound like a small technicality but we think it is
disproportionately negative to Aegon's investment case," said
analysts at KBW.
Meanwhile, a series of positive results releases pushed
European technology stocks higher, the best-performing sector
, up 1.2 percent.
Infineon was the top gainer, up 9.6 percent and
hitting a 15-year high after it hiked its outlook on stronger
It helped Germany's DAX outperform European peers,
the only major index to make gains, up 0.2 percent.
German mid-cap internet service provider United Internet
was also a top gainer, up 5.6 percent after it posted
"We remain confident that the company is on a long-term
growth track and see upside potential for this underperforming
share," said analysts at Bankhaus Lampe, adding 2017 growth
should be driven by mobile business.
Italian chip maker STMicroelectronics was among top
gainers, up 4.2 percent. Analysts at Liberum said a new portable
console from Nintendo contains a large number of STM
chips, and its sales could add the equivalent of 1.3 percent
growth to STM's revenues.
Semiconductor component manufacturer ASM gained
4.7 percent after the nomination of a new supervisory board
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Helen Reid,; editing by Richard
Lough and Toby Davis)