MILAN, Oct 5 (Reuters) - European shares inched lower in early deals on Thursday with Germany’s benchmark index pulling back from a fresh record high and Spanish stocks rebounding from the heavy losses caused in the previous session by escalating Catalan tensions.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index index and Germany’s DAX were both down around 0.15 percent by 0724 GMT, while Spain’s IBEX was up 0.6 percent.
Top fallers on the STOXX were shares in Assa Abloy , down 4.9 percent, after news that CEO Johan Molin was considering stepping down next year after more than a decade at the helm of the Swedish lockmaker.
Osram Licht declined 3.8 percent after Siemens sold its remaining 17 percent stake in the lighting group for 1.2 billion euros, severing links with its former unit.
While banks fell for a second day on worries over political tensions in Spain and news that the ECB will ask them to set aside more cash to cover newly classified bad loans, utilities led sectoral gainers.
The sector was led higher by French power company EDF , which gained 3.3 percent, underpinned by an upgrade to buy from hold at Jefferies.
Telecom Italia rose 1 percent after its chairman said he had no “preconception” about any possible spin off of the phone group’s fixed line network. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Editing by Helen Reid)