January 24, 2018 / 8:30 AM / a year ago

European shares weighed down by Suez warning, tumbling tech

MILAN, Jan 24 (Reuters) - A decline in utility stocks following a profit warning at France’s Suez and tumbling tech stocks on fresh Apple worries weighed on European shares on Wednesday although a strong update from Novartis provided support.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 percent by 0824 GMT, while Germany’s DAX index was flat and UK’s FTSE dipped 0.3 percent.

Suez slumped 15 percent after the waste and water group revised down its 2017 earnings target due to additional costs in Spain and decisions to close two services contracts in Morocco and India.

Its fall dragged peer Veolia down 2.4 percent and sent the utilities index down 0.7 percent.

Tech stocks fell 0.8 percent, leading sectoral fallers in Europe, after JP Morgan cut its rating for Apple supplier AMS to neutral, pointing to iPhone X order weakness.

AMS slumped 7 percent, while Dialog and STMicro both fell around 3 percent.

Healthcare stocks edged up, boosted by a 2 percent gain in heavyweight drugmaker Novartis. The Swiss-based group forecast 2018 operating profit would grow faster than sales as revenue from drugs accelerates and the company exits a period when patent losses dented results. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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