Vopak suffers most as European shares slip back
* FTSEurofirst 300 and Euro STOXX 50 edge back 0.3 pct
* Vopak slumps after cutting profit outlook
* Traders look to sell to book profits on July recovery
* Ct Suisse raises rating on continental Europe
LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - European shares slipped on Friday, with Dutch specialist chemical storage group Vopak slumping after cutting its profit outlook, and several traders said they would look to take profits on this month's equity market recovery.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down by 0.4 percent at 1,204.83 points in early session trading, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also fell 0.3 percent to 2,710.13 points.
Vopak was the worst performer on the FTSEurofirst 300, falling 6.2 percent after issuing its profit warning.
The FTSEurofirst 300, which has risen some 6 percent since the start of 2013, hit a five-year high in late May of 1,258.09 points.
It then retreated to a 2013 low of 1,111.11 points in late June on concerns about a scaling back of U.S. monetary stimulus, before recovering ground in July as those fears receded.
"A lot of cash has gone into the market over the last few months but people are now sitting back a bit," said Terry Torrison, managing director at Monaco-based McLaren Securities.
Hendrik Klein, head of high-frequency trading and asset management firm Da Vinci Invest AG, said he would look to sell Germany's DAX, which was down 0.5 percent at 8,294.05 points, before buying back in at around the 8,000 point level.
"I would take some profits at this level," said Klein.
Nevertheless, both Torrison and Klein kept a positive outlook on European equities for the longer term, expecting equity markets to resume an upward trend in September even if they traded sideways in July and August.
Investors expect any reduction in economic stimulus measures from the U.S. Federal Reserve will only be a gradual one, and signs of an economic improvement in Europe have also improved sentiment.
Global equity strategists at Credit Suisse upgraded their rating on continental Europe to "benchmark" status on Friday, partly due to the tentative signs of the region's economic recovery.
"For the first time this year, continental Europe is no longer bottom of our macro scorecard," they wrote in a note.
(additional reporting by Atul Prakash/editing by Chris Pizzey, London MPG Desk, +44 (0)207 542-4441)