Europe shares halt sell-off, focus shift to earnings

PARIS (Reuters) - European shares inched up early on Tuesday, halting the previous session's sell-off, but gains were limited following further losses on Wall Street, where investors continued to dump Internet stocks and switch into defensive sectors.

At 0704 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2 per cent at 1,338.16 points, after losing 1.3 per cent on Monday.

Wall Street's Dow Jones industrial average fell 1 per cent on Monday and the S&P 500 lost 1.1 per cent. The Nasdaq, home of tech and biotech companies, lost 1.2 per cent, posting its worst three-day decline since November 2011.

"It's too early to buy the dip. We need to see the start of the earnings season in the U.S. first. If the results are showing improvements in the micro space, then the market could rebound, but we're not there yet," said David Thebault, head of quantitative sales trading at Global Equities, in Paris.

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