Apple outlook takes a bite out of European shares rally

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 08:20 hrs

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Thursday, as weaker than expected figures from U.S. giant Apple fanned earnings worries in the technology sector, offseting more bullish economic data out of China.

By 0804 GMT, the FTSEurofirst fell 3.58 points, or 0.3 percent to 1,164.07. The index has been trading in a tight 10-point range since nearing two-year highs at the start 2013, with traders torn between the macro and micro developments.

Early on Thursday it was micro concerns helping drag the index lower after the world's largest tech company Apple late on Wednesday reported a third straight quarter of weaker than expected revenues.

Tech stocks were down 0.3 percent with ARM, whose chip designs are used in many of Apple's products, down 1.7 percent, while mobile handset maker Nokia, which reports earnings at 1100 GMT, fell 1 percent.

"Apple's outlook is weighing on sentiment in the tech sector and the wider market this morning," Jawaid Afsar, a sales trader at Securequity, said.

"Markets have run up well and a pause for breath is to be expected. All the major benchmarks are looking overbought and any short term correction will be seen as a buying opportunity but the longer-term trend is still to the upside," he said.

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