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Europe: Shares weighed down by Suez warning, tumbling tech stocks

[MILAN] 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 per cent by 0824 GMT, while Germany's DAX index was flat and UK's FTSE dipped 0.3 per cent.

Suez slumped 15 per cent 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 per cent and sent the utilities index down 0.7 per cent.

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Tech stocks fell 0.8 per cent, 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 per cent, while Dialog and STMicro both fell around 3 per cent.

Healthcare stocks edged up, boosted by a 2 per cent 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.

REUTERS