MILAN, March 31 European shares fell in early
trading on Friday, weighed down by losses among mining stocks
and by a slump in South African-exposed insurer Old Mutual
, but were firmly on track to end the quarter with a
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.2
percent, on track to end the first quarter with a gain of 5
percent, its third straight quarterly gain. The UK's FTSE 100
fell 0.3 percent and Germany's DAX was flat.
Europe's Basic Resources index, where big miners are
listed, fell 1.5 percent, leading sectoral fallers in Europe.
Old Mutual was the biggest loser on the STOXX, down 7.4
percent, as South Africa's rand and government bonds fell after
President Jacob Zuma fired his respected finance minister in a
late-night cabinet reshuffle.
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni, editing by Kit Rees)