European shares edge lower as tech firms' updates disappoint
* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.1 percent
* SAP and Ericsson lead tech sector down, mirroring Intel
* French market outperforms, helped by Carrefour and Publicis
* Charts point to resistance on Euro STOXX 50
LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - European shares edged lower on Thursday, weighed down by disappointing company reports from the technology sector that put a downbeat complexion on the region's earnings season. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 lost 0.1 percent to 1,197.39 points at 0748 GMT, with techs the biggest sectoral faller, down 1.4 percent. Software maker SAP AG fell 3 percent to the bottom of Germany's DAX after it trimmed its revenue forecast, citing a slowdown in China and echoing U.S. chipmaker Intel late on Wednesday. Mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson pared early losses of as much as 5.9 percent to trade down 3 percent after missing expectations for second-quarter operating profit. The weak figures took the edge off what has been a decent reporting season so far, with 56 percent of companies having met or beaten expectations on the STOXX Europe 600, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data. "Profit margins are at peak levels, which mean it's difficult to push these up even more. And volume growth is hard to reach, especially in Europe, because of the recession in and slowing growth in most of the emerging markets." Koen De Leus, senior economist at KBC, in Brussels, said. "All in all, the US companies should have a better earnings growth than the Europeans," he added. So far, 74 percent of S&P 500 companies have beaten or met expectations. Poor earnings reports were not limited to the tech sector, however, with chemical firm Akzo Nobel and Finnish ship-builder Wartsila, dropping 6.2 and 4.1 percent respectively. France CAC 40 outperformed, rising 0.1 percent, helped higher by expectation-beating results from Publicis , up 2.8 percent, and Carrefour, up 2.1 percent, the index's top two gainers. The Euro STOXX 50 was down 0.1 percent at 2,678.46. The euro zone blue-chip index has struggled to sustain a break above levels reached just before the U.S. Federal Reserve made clear on June 19 that it was seeking to slow its asset purchase programme. Gerry Celaya, chief strategist at Red Tower Research, said the June 17 high of 2,718 was "a good barometer for upside resistance. "...As long as that holds, we're looking for this pullback to extend, maybe putting us back below 2,600," he said.