December 20, 2017 / 8:38 AM / a year ago

European shares edge lower; utilities help DAX

MILAN, Dec 20 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower in early trading on Wednesday following a drop in the previous session when a sell-off on the bond market weighed and support from a tax reform in the U.S. faded.

While the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.3 percent at 0835 GMT, gains among German utilities helped limit the DAX’s decline to 0.1 percent. France’s CAC fell 0.5 percent and the UK’s FTSE was down 0.2 percent.

Steinhoff tumbled 21 percent as the scandal-hit South African furniture retailer starting losing credit lines from lenders. Steinhoff said it was still unable to determine the scale of accounting irregularities which have wiped more than $10 billion off its market value over the past two weeks.

RWE was the biggest gainer on the DAX, up 1.8 percent, after the CEO of its Innogy unit resigned just days after a profit warning that hit shares in both companies.

The top gainer on the STOXX was Stada, up 9.7 percent, after the German pharmaceutical company agreed a new profit transfer deal with its new majority investor, Nidda Healthcare.

Dufry was another outstanding gainer, up 4.7 percent, after activist investor Elliot took a 6 percent stake in the company. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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