Utilities drag European shares from near 2-yr high

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 07, 2013 16:40 hrs

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - European shares fell for the first time in 2013 on Monday, with utilities leading a broad retreat after a gloomy sector note from Deutsche Bank.

After chalking up a 3 percent weekly gain and hitting a near two-year closing high in the previous session, fuelled by a U.S. budget deal and a solid U.S. jobs report, the FTSEurofirst 300 provisonally ended down 0.5 percent at 1,161.44 points.

"I don't think it's a great surprise that we see a pause," said Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Standard Life Investments, which has around 163 billion pounds ($261 billion)of assets under management.

"Generally the backdrop is that clients do seem a little more confident about the world given the economic data that's appearing, or the absence of the 'fiscal cliff' debacle which was hanging over the markets in December."

Utilities stocks were the standout fallers on Monday, off 1.6 percent, after Deutsche Bank downgraded several firms and advised that there are no safe havens in the sector, traders said.

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